About White Patches
At times you may find areas on your skin that are discolored or whitened. They may not exactly be harmful. Anyways they do seem very obvious to the eye. This is generally due to a difference in the level of melanin in those skin cells. Melanin refers to the pigment that gives color to your skin in order to protect the same from exposure to the sun.
Causes of White Patches
Anyone can get white patches on skin and they can arise from various causes, some of which include:
- Skin conditions such as Psoriasis or Eczema: These are probably the most common skin conditions that may cause white spots or patches on your skin. These are generally genetic conditions and may start as scaly rashes that itch. Later these may get transformed into white patches on your skin.
- Fungal Infections: You are likely to get white patches if you have a skin condition called Tinea Versicolor that is actually caused by a fungus. This condition generally affects your back and your chest area. In such cases the fungus will live on your skin and leads to changes in your skin whenever you come across excessive sweating, changes in your hormones or a decrease in your immunity levels. Detected at early stages, these patches caused by fungus can be treated using anti-fungal medications that are available over-the-counter
- Vitamin Deficiency: Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause white patches on your skin. If you are a long-term vegan or a person who is has pernicious anemia, having a B12 deficiency can be quite common.
- Depigmentation: If you have Vitiligo or de-pigmentation, your skin starts losing its pigment in certain areas of your body, leading to white patches.
A few other causes for white patches include eating too much junk food, emotional stress, increase of toxins in your body, consumption of excessive antibiotics, consuming vegetables or fruits that are sprayed with insecticides or pesticides, improper hygiene practices, jaundice or typhoid.
Symptoms of White Patches on skin:
You may generally come across white patches on the areas that are exposed to the sun such as your face, hands, arms, feet and lips. You may also see them on areas such as your eyes, mouth, nostrils, armpits, groin area, navel, genitals or rectum. White patches may appear in areas where the blood circulation is lesser. These symptoms may also be accompanied by:
- Premature graying of your beard or your scalp hair
- Premature graying of your eyebrows and eyelashes
Do White Patches Spread?
It depends on the exact cause and nature of your white patches. There are cases where the patches have been localized in a certain part of the body and have never spread to the other parts. There are cases where the white patches have spread rapidly over all parts of the body. There are also many other cases where it has taken years for these white patches to spread. Nevertheless, it is always better to get your condition diagnosed and find out from your doctor if there are chances of these white patches spreading all over your body.
Diagnosis of White Patches
It is always better to consult your doctor the moment you see any white patches on your skin that last longer or change in any way. Your doctor may ask you a few questions about when you noticed such a patch, how did it all start, did you notice any changes in its size and where do you have them in your body. It is better you tell him about the medications you may be taking or any kind of burns or skin injuries you may have dealt with. Your doctor might do a biopsy to find out what is wrong with your skin. He may extract some blood for testing. If you have any other symptoms, it is always better to reveal them to your doctor right at this stage.
Treatments for White Patch Removal
While changing your diet and avoiding exposure to the sun might be two options to control the white patches on your skin, there are a few cosmetic treatments that are designed to eliminate these white patches permanently:
- Sunscreens: While protecting the unpigmented skin from sunburn reactions, these also control the tanning of the normal skin. Make sure the SPF of the sunscreen you choose is at least 30. This not only blocks the erythema, but also influences the effect of sunlight on the DNA of your skin cells.
- Cover-up:You can cover-up your white patches with make-up or dyes to reduce their visibility. There are many creams that are meant to camouflage and a few self-tanning lotions that you can try out.
- Restoring Normal Skin Color: Spot treatments and whole body treatments are used to restore your normal skin color on your white patches. These options include:
A) Spot Treatment – Topical Corticosteroid Creams: This treatment is safe, simple and practical. However, if you do not find any changes within a period of two months it may not prove to be effective.
B) Spot Treatment – Topical Oxsoralen: Oxsoralen is said to be very phototoxic and it might take about three to four days for the phototoxicity to go away. This might be effective if administered for small spots by an experienced physician, after taking all precautions. If you are on oral psoralens you may need about fifteen treatments or so to start seeing results and about 100 treatments to complete the entire treatment.
C) Spot Treatment – Mini Grafting: In this treatment patient’s normal skin is grafted on to the affected area. For blending the color of the skin between these grafts PUVA may be used.
D) Whole Body Treatment: PUVA Photochemotherapy (Oral Psoralens + UVA Irradiation): In wide spread cases of white patches, this treatment might seem practical. This may include a combination therapy of trisoralen and sunlight or the use of artificial UVA.
E) Topical Creams To Remove Normal Skin Pigment And Unify Skin Color: This would be administered in extreme cases of white patches or vitiligo where the patches are spread all over the body and all other treatments have failed. The normal skin areas are bleached using monobenzylether of hydroquinone 20% cream (Benoquin) and this process is not reversible.
Our Experienced Team:
Dr.Rashmi is a well-known, well-qualified and well-experienced dermatologist who has treated a lot of cosmetic problems through different ways. Her clinic in Bangalore is equipped with latest technology equipment that makes treatment easy and effective. A specialized team that works under her, takes all the necessary precautions to see to it that the clients do not have to face any kind of side effects, either during or after the treatment. Excellent after-care is provided to make sure the results are extended for a longer period of time and ensure early recovery.
Dr.Rashmi has helped many get rid of their white patches permanently through effective and safe treatments. Many of our clients have recommended our services to their relatives and friends. Some have even written a couple of reviews that talk about the quality of treatments you can expect from us. You can go through these reviews on our testimonial page before making your decision.
The pricing depends on the treatment you go for, your skin condition, the number of sessions you may need and much more. You can give us a call and fix up an appointment for a free consultation session with Dr. Rashmi, during which your condition will be evaluated, the treatments suggested and the cost estimated. You can get all your queries clarified during this session.