White Spots on Skin - Introduction
The color of human skin is in healthy people balanced and there is no skin discoloration. If we talk about skin discoloration people must be familiar with the fact that not all skin discoloration points to the presence of certain illnesses. There is a variety of skin discoloration and it is logical that there are many causes of these changes.
White spots on the skin usually occur due to insufficient amount of skin pigment called melanin. They may develop as a consequence of several medical conditions and they include vitiligo, pytiriasis alba and tinea versicolor. None of these conditions is serious and can be treated rather successfully. Still the skin changes may be on the visible areas of the skin which sometimes cause quite a distress and discomfort.
Causes of White Spots on Skin
As it has been mentioned before white spots on the skin develop as a consequence of insufficient production of melanin, the skin pigment which gives the unique and uniform tone of the skin. White spots occur due to insufficient amount of melanin. They typically develop in several skin conditions. White spots on the skin can affect any part of the body. They are more of aesthetic problem particularly if they form on visible areas of the body.
Vitiligo is one of the skin disorders which features with white spots on the skin. In people suffering from vitiligo white spots occur after the body has been exposed to the sun. This is a quite common skin disorder and it affects approximately 2 million people in the United States. The white spots in vitiligo develop as a consequence of destruction of the melanocytes, the cells in charge with production of the melanin.
Another skin disorder which features with white spots on the skin is pityriasia alba. It basically affects children and teenagers. The white patches of the skin are generally found on the face, neck, trunk, hands and legs. This is not a contagious disease and can be easily brought under control with certain medications.
Tine versicolor is one more skin condition which leads to formation of white spots on the skin. In tinea versicolor superficial layers of the skin are affected by specific microorganism. The disease predominantly affects the arms, face, neck, chest, trunk, and back. The skin changes are in a form of white itchy patches of skin covered in scales.
Apart from being a characteristic of certain skin disorders white discoloration of the skin also affects people with certain genetic disorders and autoimmune diseases. It may also occur as a side effect of steroids and some other medications or represent normal post inflammatory response.