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White Sunspots on Skin

White Sunspots on Skin

Appearance of white spots on the skin due to sun exposure occurs due to various reasons. With right treatment, you can get rid of these spots.
Pragya T
Last Updated: May 13, 2018
Did you know?
The most common causes behind this skin condition are fungal infection and sun allergy.

People with sensitive and fair skin are more susceptible to white sunspots which is a skin disorder. Many times people experience these white sunspots, during early spring or summer. This condition is aggravated if there is further exposure to sun, which is why one needs to treat this disorder.

Given below, are the various conditions associated with light sunspots on skin explained in detail.

Fungal/Yeast Infection
Cause
Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection which gives white spots on the skin. This is not a severe condition, and mostly goes unnoticed. However, when the fungus spreads, the appearance of these white spots becomes noticeable. The size of the spots starts to grow overtime, if left untreated. The spots can also be pink, tan or dark brown. Certain conditions like greasy skin, hot or humid weather, excessive sweating and imbalance of hormones tend to trigger this fungal infection.

Treatment
  • If you have a fungal infection, then an OTC antifungal topical cream and shampoo can be used.
  • One needs to apply the shampoo on damp skin and let it sit for some minutes and then wash off. You might have to use the shampoo for months to completely get rid of the fungal infection.
  • Apart from the shampoo and cream, the doctor might also prescribe you oral medication and ask you to practice good hygiene.

Prevention
  • To prevent fungal infection, keep your skin clean and sweat-free. After a workout or playing a sport, take a shower to prevent fungal infection.
  • Ensure, you always wear fresh and clean clothes.
  • To prevent the fungal infection from recurring, the doctor might ask you to use a medicated cleanser occasionally.

Sun Allergies
Cause
PMLE is one of the sun allergies, which gives a person white itchy bumps on skin after sun exposure. Many times people experience redness with a burning sensation of the affected skin area. Sometimes, a person will experience swelling and blistering on the affected skin area. Other symptoms of PMLE include nausea, chills, and headache. People many times develop bumps on skin after sun exposure, due to sun allergies like solar urticaria, photoallergic eruption, and actinic prurigo.

Treatment
  • For natural remedy, cut a leaf of aloe vera lengthwise and apply the aloe gel on the affected skin. You can apply the aloe gel as many times as you want, but apply it at least 3 times in a day. Aloe gel will soothe the irritated skin, and also help in healing the skin naturally.
  • If there is burning or itching sensation on the affected skin area, then apply ice compress to the affected area for few minutes.
  • For topical application, buy a cream containing corticosteroid (betamethasone 0.1% concentration) over the counter. Wash the affected area with cool water, pat it dry and apply the cream. Apply the cream twice a day. For allergy relief, you can take an antihistamine tablet.

Prevention
  • Protect your skin from further sun exposure by staying indoors. If you go out, make sure you wear full-sleeved clothes and pants, with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Avoid the use of tanning beds as the UV lights from these beds can give you wrinkles, and in some cases lead to skin cancer.
  • Drink a lot of water, to keep yourself hydrated when out in the sun.
  • Use a good amount of sunscreen on the skin to protect it from solar exposure.

Pigmentation
Cause
Skin pigmentation is another reason which can lead to the occurrence of white spots on skin. People with low melanin pigment amount (medium to very fair people), have higher chance of getting light-colored spots on skin. Some fair-skinned people get a sunburn and some develop a pigmentation reaction which gives them sunspots.

Treatment
  • The doctor will prescribe a steroid cream. After regular applications of the cream the spots will become less noticeable.
  • If the pigmentation bothers you then cosmetic treatments like surgical correction can also be advised.
  • The doctor might ask you to change your diet, so that you can include foods which prevent pigmentation.

Prevention
  • Avoid exposure to sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm. During this time the sunrays are the strongest.
  • Use a strong sunscreen whenever going out.
  • You can use vitamin C serum everyday. Vitamin C, being a powerful antioxidant, will help you fight sun damage.

Pityriasis Alba
Cause
This skin condition is not caused by sun exposure, however exposure to sun makes the skin spots of pityriasis alba more obvious. This condition is a mild type of dermatitis. It affects children and sometimes young adults. The symptoms of this skin condition are round or oval patches, these patches can be scaly, and have light pinkish-white coloring. Prolonged sun exposure tends to make these patches seem even lighter, because the skin around these patches becomes dark.

Treatment
  • No treatment is required for pityriasis alba.
  • The condition will clear up on its own after few months, however it can sometimes last for a few years.
  • A good moisturizing lotion when used regularly can help to reduce the skin dryness. To reduce the itching of the skin a mild OTC hydrocortisone cream can be used for few days.

Prevention
  • Use a soap-free cleanser.
  • Apply a moisturizer like petroleum jelly twice a day.
  • Avoid exposure to sun and use a suitable sunscreen.

Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis (IGH)
Cause
IGH is a skin condition and its symptoms are small white spots or white freckles. These spots are painless and appear on body areas which are exposed to sun like arms, legs, face, and shoulders. This condition is benign and affects people who have a history of long-term sun exposure.

Treatment
  • No treatment is necessary as the condition is harmless. Also, there is no effective treatment for the condition.
  • However, cosmetics to cover the sunspots on skin can be used to make them less visible.
  • Retinoids like tretinoin creams can be applied on the affected area.

Prevention
  • Regular use of sunscreen lotion can prevent the development of new lesion.
  • Avoid exposing your skin to sun. Cover your arms and legs with clothes and wear a hat when going out.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.