What Causes White Spots on My Skin?

Melanin is the component responsible for giving your skin its color. Melanin is a pigment that is manufactured in the skins outermost layer, and the melanin concentration is what determines your skin color. Melanocytes are cells that are located at your epidermis's basal layer which are responsible for manufacturing melanin.

People who have dark skin have larger amounts of melanin than people with lighter skin. It is very important for your skin to produce melanin regularly to ensure that it maintains its color. If you have white spots on your skin, it means that there is a melanocyte malfunction which causes inadequate melanin production, or it could be caused by other skin condition.

Causes and Treatments of White Spots on Skin

Discoloration of the skin does not disappear by itself; it is caused by a decrease in the supply of melanin. However, discoloration of your skin can also mean you have a skin infection. It is discussed below:

1. Vitiligo

Symptoms. When you suffer from vitiligo, it means that your melanocytes have been destroyed, and so, there is no melanin production. White spots will appear in the initial stages of vitiligo, but as time goes by the spots enlarge to white skin patches. If no treatment is received, the discoloration could affect the whole body in the long-run.

Treatment. It is not a must for you to use a medical treatment when treating vitiligo because there are times when the color of the skin returns without using any treatments. For some, however, using cosmetic cram and sunscreen improves the appearance of their skin. Those with fair skin should avoid tanning because it will only make the patches noticeable. You can also use topical corticosteroids and immunomodulators. In severe cases, surgery is needed.

2. Fungal Infection and Tinea Versicolor

Symptoms. Although the skin normally has fungi, the fungi only become a problem when their growth exceeds the normal range. The excess fungi leads to the condition called tinea versicolor. The areas affected change color, and the discoloration manifests as white small spots on your skin. They are usually found on the back, shoulder area and chest.

Treatment. After extermination, your doctor may prescribe topical, anti-fungal creams to apply to the spots to even-out the skin color. Oral antifungal meds that include Sporanox or Nizoral can also be presribled. You can also go for OTC medications like clotrimazole and miconazole..Additionally, lotions that contain selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc and ketoconazole are very effective.

3. Nevus Depigmentosus

Symptoms. This condition results from a decreased melanin production. Its symptoms include the small (0.5 to 1 cm in size) and stretchy white spots on skin. In later stages, small spots close to each other can combine, which gives rise to white patches. In this condition spots do not become red when friction is applied to it.

Treatment. This condition is untreatable. Even so, you can hide the spots using cosmetics. Consult your doctor on the appropriate cosmetics (such as laser and transplantation) to use.

4. Pityriasis Alba

Symptoms. It is characterized by tiny white patches on your skin confined to your arms, neck and face areas. This skin is common to children of ages between six to twelve years. Its initial manifestation is irregularly shaped reddish-pink lesions on the skin. After some time, the lesions will form scaly white marks on the child's superficial skin.

Treatment. Usually, the skin returns to its original color over time without using any treatments. However, you can still use some skin care products like topical corticosteroids to give the skin its natural color/an even color. It is also important to keep your skin moisturized and avoid harsh sun exposure at the same time.

5. Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis

Symptoms. The white spots/marks (usually around 2-5 mm in size) appear on the skin areas that are normally exposed like the arms, face and neck areas. This means that there is a high likelihood that this condition is caused by the sun's UV rays.

Treatment. You can use steroid cream. Alternatively, there are surgical procedures that your doctor may recommend after examining you. Surgical procedures like cryotherapy involve using nitrogen to freeze the affected areas.

6. Lichen Sclerosus

Symptoms. This condition is not common. It is characterized by patchy, thin white skin. The patches can appear on any body part but are mostly found around the anus and genitals. This problem is most common in women who are in their post-menopausal stage.

Treatment. The cause of this condition may be hormonal or immune disorder or imbalance, however, we are not sure. Even so, you can use ointments and corticosteroid creams to treat it.

7. Malnutrition

White spots on the skin can also occur due to malnutrition, lack of vitamin D, E and calcium. If you observe white or brown spots on your skin and they do not disappear after a week, it is best to consult your dermatologist.

Home Remedies for White Spots on Skin

  1. Radish Seeds. It is a known home remedy for white spots on the skin. Take about twenty five grams of these seeds and grind them until it has become coarse powder. Mix the powder with 2tsp of vinegar to form a paste. Now, apply the paste to the white spots and leave for thirty minutes. Rinse off using lukewarm water.
  2. Turmeric. Take turmeric (5tsp) and mix it with mustard oil (250ml) then apply it to the spots and leave the mask for half an hour. Do this twice daily.
  3. Cabbage. Take a cabbage and extract some juice from it then apply the juice to the white spots on the skin. Leave it for a few minutes then rinse off using warm water.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar. With its acidic nature, this home remedy is known to destroy bacteria and fungi that cause the white patches. Mix some with water and wash the affected areas using this mixture. This will help clean the area keeping it bacteria and fungi free.
  5. Ginger. Boil some hot water and add some ginger to it then drink the tea. You can alternatively crush fresh ginger to extract its juice then drink the juice. The ginger will help increase circulation of blood to your skin.
  6. Figs. are known to contain properties that heal the white patches. Consume raw figs for about two months to get rid of the white patches. This is a good way to purify your blood and also aid in its circulation.
  7. Copper. Pour some water in a copper vessel or flask then leave it throughout the night. In the morning, that water will have infused with the copper ions which aid in melanin production.
  8. Honey. It contains anti-fungal properties, which help kill bacteria, thus reducing white spots on skin. Honey is also known to properly absorb in the skin promoting healing.
  9. Holy Basil. Apply some holy basil to the affected areas to remove the patches and white spots. You can alternatively boil some holy basils in water (and add some turmeric if you wish). Leave the water to cool and once it has reached room temperature, you can wash the affected areas.
  10. Neem. Take dried neem leaves, fruits and flowers then crush them to powder and consume a teaspoon with some water each day. This is beneficial in fighting autoimmune disorders hence treating the skin condition.
 
 
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