White Patches on Face: Here’s Discussing the Causes and Treatment

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

White spots on skin may develop when dead cells or skin proteins get stuck beneath the skin’s surface. They may also result from depigmentation, or the loss of color, brought on by vitiligo or another skin condition. In this blog, we will discover various reasons for white patches on face and treatment options available to heal white areas on skin.

Causes and Symptoms of White Patches on Face

Various health conditions and factors can cause white patches on skin to develop. Common causes of white spots on skin include:

  1. Sunspots or Guttate Hypomelanosis: White patches on face where there is less pigment are called sunspots. These spots are usually harmless and don’t cause any symptoms. They typically start on the legs and work up to the arms, upper back, and face. One possible cause is a deficiency in the skin pigment known as melanin. Moreover, sunspots appear to run in families.
  2. Tinea Versicolor or Pityriasis Versicolor: In individuals suffering from tinea versicolor (TV), the fungus that typically resides on the skin’s surface grows uncontrollably. The fungus causes dry, scaly, and itchy white areas on skin that are either lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. The condition is quite common and increases in warm, humid environments.
  3. Pityriasis Alba: Pityriasis alba (PA) is a non-cancerous skin disorder that is quite common and creates itchy, red, and scaly spots on the skin. Eventually, these patches heal, leaving behind small white dots on skin. Children between the ages of 3 and 16 are typically affected by PA, which usually causes white spots on face but can also affect the neck, shoulders, and arms. Although the exact etiology of PA is unknown, researchers believe it to be a mild form of eczema or atopic dermatitis.
  4. Vitiligo: White patches on skin show up in vitiligo patients where the cells responsible for skin pigment, or color, have been damaged. Vitiligo could be an autoimmune disease in which the immune system unintentionally damages healthy cells. White areas on skin can appear slowly or spread quickly, usually in areas exposed to the sun.
  5. Milia: Milia are raised, firm, painless, white, and fluid-filled sacs that form on the skin’s surface and range in width from 1-4 mm. It happens when keratin, a protein that aids in hardening the skin’s outer layer, becomes stuck beneath the skin and forms a fluid-filled sac. Primary milia can happen at random. Trauma from incidents such as dermabrasion, tissue injury, blistering, and skin inflammation can also cause milia. It could also occur as a result of taking a certain medication.

Treatment for White Spots on Skin

The treatment for spots on skin white in color depends on the cause of the spots:


Treatment options include:

  • Applying sunscreen on the body
  • Avoiding being in the sun for too long
  • Dermabrasion, which physically removes the outer layers of skin
  • Topical steroid creams, such as hydrocortisone
  • Topical retinoid creams, such as retinol and tretinoin


Pityriasis Alba

To reduce inflammation, itchiness, and dryness associated with PA, treatments include:

  • Regular use of moisturizers
  • Low-dose topical corticosteroid creams
  • Elidel cream, a nonsteroidal formula

Tinea Versicolor

Antifungal shampoos, washes, soaps, and creams are usually the first line of treatment. Most antifungal medicines contain selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, or ketoconazole. Doctors may prescribe antifungal pills to treat white dots on skin.


If symptoms are quite minor, some people can prevent white patches on skin from becoming obvious by not allowing their skin to tan.

Treatment options for vitiligo include:

  • Low-dose corticosteroid creams
  • Elidel cream, a nonsteroidal formula
  • ultraviolet light treatment in combination with topical medications
  • bleaching the skin surrounding large white areas on skin to blend them
  • surgery to remove the upper portions of affected skin if medications and light therapy fail


Retinoid creams and ointments, especially those containing 0.1 percent tretinoin, are advised as the first line of treatment for milia. Additionally, steroid creams are frequently used to help reduce or eliminate milia.


Skin proteins trapped beneath the skin’s surface, depigmentation, skin color loss, and several medical disorders can all result in white spots on skin. They are typically not harmful and are easily treated at home. To determine the precise cause and the most effective course of treatment, it’s crucial that you have them examined by a dermatologist.

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