White Patches on Skin: Explained

You may have seen them on your skin.

Or maybe on your child’s.

Or maybe you’ve simply wondered — just out of curiosity — what causes these white patches on some people’s skin.

Do any (or even all) of these statements apply to you? If so, keep reading


The Rundown

here are several skin conditions that result in white patches of skin, with varying degrees of severity.

To name a few: atopic dermatitis, pityriasis alba, seborrheic dermatitis, vitiligo, psoriasis, idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, and lichen sclerosus.

But this article will be focusing primarily on some of the milder causes of skin lightening or discoloration.

Eczema Aftermath

Eczema is a skin condition that makes skin become itchy, red, or dry, due to inflammation.1 Atopic dermatitis is its most common form.

In general, eczema is a chronic, and most likely, genetic condition.

When the skin becomes inflamed or irritated, it could lead to small patches of skin turning whiter or lighter because of pigmentation, compared to the other nearby areas of skin. This contrast in discoloration may be more apparent on those with darker skin. To get more technical, this is what happens when an eczema flare-up resolves itself "through the sub-acute phase and settles back to dry skin without inflammation".

If you’re seeing white patches on your (or your child’s) skin as a result of eczema, don’t worry: over time they do tend to fade.

Pityriasis Alba

Mostly seen in young children, this condition is thought to be a low-grade form of eczema. The term pityriasis refers to the fine scale characteristic of skin while alba describes the pale-colored pigmentation as a result of it.

These patches start off as round and scaly, and as they improve, they turn into a lighter shade compared to the rest of the skin.

Just like its more generic skin condition counterpart, oftentimes, these patches fade away on their own. While it doesn’t need to be treated per se, moisturizing creams and lotions may be used if the skin is dry. However, if the skin ends up becoming inflamed, red, or itchy, your child may be given a corticosteroid or nonsteroidal cream by their doctor.


This skin disorder manifests as thick, reddish, or pinkish patches of skin with white or silvery scales that cover them. Unlike pityriasis alba, psoriasis starts in one’s adulthood.

Just like eczema, though, psoriasis is related to an immune system problem, where one’s immune system is overstimulated, leading to inflammation.

If you, your child, or someone you know is experiencing any of these three conditions, try Mometasone furoate (Elica®) products. They can help stop itching, reduce redness, ease swelling, and provide 24-hour fast relief. Mometasone furoate (Elica®) cream is applied on thin skin (e.g. your face) and moist lesions, while Mometasone furoate (Elica®) ointment is applied on dry lesions and thickened skin.

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

If symptoms persists, consult your doctor.

ASC Reference No.: B074P110821ES