White spots on skin: Meaning, causes, treatment

A very common skin disorder is the appearance of white spots on the visible layer of the skin. They are mainly caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or due to some fungal infection. Various ointments, creams, etc., can easily cure these white spots on skin and do not cause any critical health hazards. However, visiting a dermatologist is highly recommended in case of skin spotting conditions like Milia, Vitiligo, etc. Let us give you a detailed idea of the disease, its causes, and treatment options.

Causes of white spots and pigment on Skin

There are various reasons behind the occurrence of this skin condition, some of which are

  • Sun exposure

If your skin is exposed to sunlight, especially without sunscreen protection of sunscreen, then the surface layer of the skin will begin to peel off. This peeling can lead to the appearance of tiny white spots on skin on different parts of the body, like the chest, neck, and back.

  • Mycosis

This is a fungal infection. The fungus in discussion is naturally present in our skin, but when it multiplies excessively, white spots appear on the skin. It is also known as tinea versicolour or pityriasis versicolour. Moreover, the spots can become more prominent if they come directly from the sun. They can be very itchy and spread throughout the body if left untreated.

  • Eczema

It is a very common disease in infants but can happen at any age. In this case, several sections of the area swell up to form lumps and leave behind white patch marks on the skin when they become cured. Red patches and itchiness characterise eczema.

  • White freckles

Sunscreens are essential if you are exposed to the sun frequently or for a long time. Freckles directly result from not applying sunscreen before stepping out for a long period. They appear in the form of white spots on the skin. They normally occur in women in their mid-thirties and forties.

  • Vitiligo

One of the skin diseases which lotions and creams cannot cure is Vtitiligo. Rather, it is a more specific skin disorder that needs to be treated by professional dermatologists. The white patches do not limit themselves to only the skin. Rather, they appear inside the mouth as well. The reason behind this is not known but is perceived as a result of an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its melanocytes

  • Hypomelanosis

This can be considered the outcome of allergies, where the infected skin loses the pigmentation and becomes lighter or whiter than the rest. If not severe, simply embracing the sunlight and its tanning capacity can certainly help you with the toning up of your skin tone.

  • Tuberous sclerosis

The white patches are one of the symptoms of this disease. Tuberous sclerosis is a genetic disorder that forms non-cancerous lumps in the body. The patches all over the body are common in infants to six years old.

  • Nutritional deficiencies

Lack of nutrients can also accelerate the appearance of white spots on the skin. This means the skin begins to form white patches due to less absorption of vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin D, E, Calcium, and many more.

How to Identify White Spots and Pigment on Skin?

Detecting white pigment on skin can become difficult, especially for fair-skinned people. We normally identify the presence of skin disorders when they become quite widespread. Here are some of the tips for early detection,

  • Sudden greying of hair, beard, and eyebrow
  • Loss of your natural skin tone and texture
  • Discolouration inside your mouth and nose
  • Change in the colour of the retina

White patches and spots can occur on some body parts or in a particular region and may disappear with time. They don't need to appear all over the body.

Treatment Options for White Spots and Pigment on Skin

There are several treatments available for this kind of skin disorder. Let us give you a detail on the various ways you can treat white pigment on your skin.

  • Sunspots

Trust us when we say sunscreens are your best friends. These products can assist in curing many skin concerns, including Sunspots. The healing process includes avoiding tanning booths and prolonged exposure to the sun. You can also opt for retinoid creams, sunscreen like Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen or steroid-infused lotions for sunspots.

  • Pityriasis Alba

To cure this disease, you need to regularise the use of moisturisers. Though the disorder resolves independently, doctors may prescribe low-dose corticosteroid lotions or an Elidel cream in case of severity.

  • Tinea Versicolour

Antifungal creams, soaps, and bodywashes are the best options to cure this disorder. In a few cases, the skin might not heal with these products; hence, physicians might advise consuming antifungal pills. The discolouration requires a considerable period to fade away.

  • Eczema

Dry and itchy red patches characterise the symptoms of this disease; hence, keeping the skin hydrated is essential. Also, dermatologists may prescribe antihistamines and steroid medication. Hence, you can opt for hydrating topical options like Waterlight Gel Moisturiser 72-Hour Hydration to keep your skin hydrated while continuing the other medications.

  • Vitiligo

The three major treatment options are low-dose corticosteroid creams, Elidel cream, a nonsteroidal formula, and ultraviolet light treatment combined with these topical variations. However, if all three are unsuccessful, you may remove the infected sections by operation.

  • Milia

Retinoid and steroid creams and lotions are the best options for curing Milia. Products especially integrated with 0.1% tretinoin are highly recommended.

Also read: Unveiling The Mystery: White Bumps On Face That Are Not Milia


The white spots on skin are not usually too harmful to the overall health, but they affect a person's physical appearance. Hence, it is advisable to cure skin disorders as soon as possible.


  • Can white spots be a sign of cancer?

White spots usually are not signs of cancer. However, if the spots persist after the usual treatment, it is safe to visit a skin doctor.

  • Does dry skin cause white patches?

White spots resulting from Eczema, Psoriasis, etc., result from dry skin.

  • What are diseases that cause white pigmentation?

Disorders like Vitiligo, Milia, tinea versicolour, etc, are the major contributors to skin pigmentation.

  • Do I need to visit a doctor for white spots?

Usually, you can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, but if the spots are recurring, spreading, persistent, painful and itchy, then professional help is a better option.

  • Can a worm cause skin pigmentation?

Worm infection may hinder nutrient absorption, resulting in white spot formation.

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