Our skin is called the largest organ of our body. It protects us from all the harmful things that are present in our environment. It is also the first organ to tell us that something is wrong with our body. This is why it is important to check your skin for any uneven qualities or irregular things. One of the most asked questions is about ambiguous white patches on skin. So, we have tried to bring together some common factors that may lead to the patches. It is always important to see a good dermatologist if you notice any white patches on your skin.

White Patches On Skin Causes:


1. Vitiligo


When people think of white patches, Vitiligo is the first thing that comes to their mind. It is a disease that not only robs the skin of its colour but also leaves the patient bereaved and makes them live in social stigma. In this condition, the skin loses its colour when they melanin cells stop working. So, the areas are affected and they lose their colour. The patches may appear anywhere around the body and they may affect hair as well. You can notice the condition more starkly in people with darker skin colours. But it can happen to people of any skin colour.

Vitiligo doesn’t threaten the life and neither is it contagious. Most people face ostracising from their peers and grow depression. They are often scared to go out of their house because of the stigma that is attached to the disease. Vitiligo may happen for many reasons; this includes an ill-performing immune system, heredity and a trigger like a sunburn or certain chemicals. People with Vitiligo have to save themselves from the sun as they are more prone to skin cancer and other skin related disorders.


• Patches of light colour appearing in body parts that are exposed to the sun like hands, arms, face, and neck
• Premature whitening in all hairs of your body.
• Fading of the tissues of your mouth or nose.
• The colour of your retina may also go away or change


The doctor will choose traditional treatments or natural treatments depending on the level and intensity of the vitiligo. No medication can revive the melanin cells. But they still can help in evening out the skin tone or bringing some colour back to the skin. Therapy can also be used to either lighten the unaffected areas or bringing back colour to the affected areas. Surgeries are also used to bring back colour to the patches using several techniques. But people can easily go without them if they are confident. Counselling is also an important part of treatment for people who have vitiligo.

You can read here on how can you cure vitiligo in 30 days.


2. Tinea Versicolor

tinea versicolor

This is a fungal infection that attacks several people around the world. The main thing that happens is that yeast that resides in the skin quickly grows in number and causes discolouration to the skin. The white patches are the first sign of this disease and people who have darker skin tones will notice it starkly. There are several factors for which this infection can take place like, tropical climate, oily skin, too much sweat and a low performing immune system. The infection is mostly seen in teenagers and children. It isn’t contagious in nature and is curable with the right treatment.


• Patches in the colour of white, pink and brown
• The spots do not tan like the rest of the skin
• Spots are generally concentrated in areas of neck, chest, arms and the back
• They hurt and itch when it is hot and humid


The main treatment is done during anti-fungal products in form of shampoos, creams, and medicines. Using them regularly will kill the overgrowth of the yeast and eliminate the infection. The patches often take some time to fade and return to the usual skin colour. The treatment depends mainly on what the doctor finds to be the problem.


3. Eczema


One of the most common skin problems that are found in the world. It can happen to anyone including small children. The condition is such that patches of skin become inflamed and they itch and may also crack. Generally, they look red or pink but they may appear white as well. White patches are mainly seen in people who have a darker skin colour. People who have eczema often have to keep themselves away from the triggers that can cause them the problem which is often common allergens. Eczema isn’t contagious in nature.


• Dry, scaly patches that usually itches a lot
• Elbows, knees, and nape of the neck are usual spots for eczema patches
• The rashes may grow infectious in nature and they are present almost all over the body


Eczema cannot be cured. The best bet is the common topical treatment that can sooth the rashes and the itchiness. The patients have to stay away from their apparent triggers and also all forms of known allergens. Maintaining an eczema avoidance lifestyle is the only way to fully battle eczema. Doctors may prescribe medicines and other things if the rashes take the form of infections.


4. Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis or Sunspots

Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis

If someone goes out in the sun for a long duration without any protection, this can happen to them. It mainly affects lighter skinned people who are more susceptible to sun damage. The white spots are generally tearing dropped in shape and have a size of about 2-5mm. The most common places for them to arise is on the shins and the forearm. People who are past 40 can have this quite commonly. The problem arises as the melanin cells stop producing the pigment. This is mainly caused because of ageing and probably sun damage.


• Small white spots in areas that are exposed to the sun

• They are flat and can also be a little scaly


Treatment is often unnecessary as the spots are harmless and do not cause any problem. But people who want to get rid of them may choose cosmetic procedures like steroids, light cryotherapy or micro-dermabrasion to bring back the old colour. It is also important to use a sun protection to protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun.


5. Pityriasis Alba


This skin condition can mainly be seen in children and young adults. They grow red and pink patches on their skin which are often scaly and itchy. The condition often becomes okay with the help of moisturizing cream and doesn’t require any extra care. But it does leave behind pale patches for the whole life. The causes of the disease are still unknown but it is connected to a similar disease called Eczema.


• Scaly and dry pale patches in areas of the body like arms, legs, face, neck, chest, etc.


Doctors often prescribe a good medicated moisturiser that will take care of the patches. With time they heal on their own and the redness disappears. Doctors do recommend an application of sunscreen to avoid other skin related problems.


6. Lichen sclerosus

This condition is quite uncommon and is mainly found in the skin around the genital area. The patches are white and the skin is thinner than usual. It may affect other parts of the body but it is commonly seen on the foreskin, vulva or around the anus. Women are more prone to getting the problem especially when they are post-menopausal. Hormones imbalances are taken as one of the causes of the problem. An overrating immune system can also be a problem. The problem isn’t contagious in nature.


• The patches are smooth and white

• The may pain and cause discomfort during sexual intercourse

• The patches may also appear wrinkly

• An itching sensation can also be felt on the patches


People may need a treatment if the problem is near the genital areas of your body. Corticosteroids are the most common types of medicines prescribed for lichen sclerosis. Most of the people will need not worry about the problem once it is gone.

So, here are the most common factors that cause white patches on the skin. Most of them are not life-threatening and they can be made better with just a cream or few medicines. There are tonnes of home remedies that can take care of small white patches as well. This is especially helpful for people who have eczema or something similar to it. Also, cosmetic treatments are also a way out of having discoloured skin. People should have a check-up with their dermatologist if the white spot persists through a week or two. They are the people who can give the best advice and a possible cure for the problem. We should always look over such superficial things and be with people who suffer from something like Vitiligo. It is also quite crucial to use good sun protection like sunscreens to avoid diverse skin conditions that may happen due to the harsh rays of the sun.