Pityriasis alba

Definition

Pityriasis alba is a common skin disorder similar to very mild eczema, causing round or oval, colorless, finely scaled patches of skin. These patches usually occur on the cheeks.

The disorder is most common in children and adolescents. The cause is unknown. The disorder is treated symptomatically with special creams - patches usually clear, but may return.

Symptoms

     
  • Small white patches       o Round or oval       o Lighter than surrounding skin (hypopigmented)       o Flat (macular) or slightly elevated       o Slight scaling with very small fine scales (may be present)  
  • Location - face, outer upper arms, neck and upper trunk  
  • Lesions don’t tan during the summer  
  • May redden quickly in the sun

 

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.

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