Any white patch found on your skin can be an alarming sign that you need to seek serious medical attention before it gets worse and begins spreading. You may begin to wonder as to why is this happening and all you need to do is to stay calm and visit a dermatologist. White patches are also known as depigmentation of the skin and if you are a person who relies on taking self-medication for the purpose, then you might be complicating your skin condition.
You need to note that advice and proper treatment from a specialist are all that matters for a start. So, make it a point to visit a doctor as soon as you come across any white patch or spot on your skin.
What are White Patches?
White patches are also known as vitiligo which is a skin disease that causes skin discolouration to an extent to which your skin loses its natural colour. In extreme cases, this skin condition can also affect your hair and the inside part of your mouth. So what causes vitiligo? Well, your skin and hair contain melanin and when melanin is not produced, then you may apparently end up suffering from vitiligo.
This may appear to be more deadly on people who are darker. Moreover, this disease is not contagious, but it can lower your self-confidence in public and also causes tremendous stress. The worst part about people suffering from this skin discolouration is that it makes one feel depressed and this thinking itself causes other mental disorders. The treatment for vitiligo includes restoring colour to the affected skin, but this can in no way prevent continued skin colour loss.
Facts About White Patches:
People suffering from this condition may feel bad about how they carry themselves in public, as they might feel a lot more depressed about their looks. So, now that you know what white patches are, let us understand some important facts that surround this skin condition.
- This skin condition is not contagious
- Your child may also end up suffering from this skin condition if one or even both parents are suffering from this condition.
- This skin condition can lead to thyroid disorders.
- This skin condition is often mistaken for leprosy by many.
- It can happen to anyone at any age but most cases are reported to be before the age group of 20 years.
- Treatment for this skin condition only aims at stopping the depigmentation of the skin and help your skin regain its colour.
- Stress is said to be one of the main reasons for this skin condition.
Note: If you spot any sort of white patch on your skin, it is strictly advised that you consult a doctor at the earliest. This will at least prevent the disease from growing and promote repigmentation of discoloured skin.
Causes of White Patches:
Now that we know that white patches can affect anyone, let us understand how this is caused and the root cause of this deadly skin condition. White patches are not treated as a serious skin condition but instead as a serious mental condition because it has high chances of affecting a person mentally and his/her surroundings. Here are some of the various skin conditions that cause white patches.
- Milia: This type of skin condition appears like fluid-filled boils that are raised firm on your skin. This can lead to white patches.
- Eczema: This is a skin condition that appears to be red and causes red bumps. It affects your hands, feet, elbows, eyelids wrists and knees.
- Pityriasis Alba: It is a skin condition that usually affects children between the age group of 1 to 3 years. It usually appears on the face that causes redness, itchiness and white patches. Even if this skin condition heals, it does leave a lot of white marks on your skin, which potentially leads to white patches.
- Vitiligo: The common white patches that usually appear are called vitiligo that can affect a person either on his/her face or any part of their body. This usually takes place due to the death of pigmentation cells. However, this is the main cause of white patches.
- Sun Spots: These are white spots in which your skin loses its skin tone. The main reason for skin discolouration is due to pigmentation related problems. This usually appears on your legs and slowly begin appearing on your arms and then reach your upper back. If you are exposed to the sun for a long, then you may be prone to this skin condition. This type of skin condition is also caused due to hereditary based problems.
- Lichen Sclerosus: This type of skin condition can affect people of all ages. In women, this condition tends to appear more in red and thin under the skin. In men, this disease tends to appear on the foreskin of the penis. This can also be seen in other parts of the body. One of the primary causes of this skin condition is due to hormonal imbalances.
Symptoms of White Patches:
White patches can bring down your self-confidence and as a result, you will have to take medical treatment if you spot any white patch on your skin. This patchy skin loss can be seen in the areas that are exposed to sunlight. These areas can be on hands, feet, arms, lips and face. So, how do you know if you are suffering from vitiligo?. Here are some of the symptoms of skin discolouration that you need to keep in mind.
- Greying of hair on your scalp, eyebrows and beard.
- Loss of natural skin tone.
- Colour loss inside your mouth and nose.
- Change in the layer colour of the retina.
However, there are many ways in which skin discolouration can affect the body. In terms of its appearance, skin discolouration can appear in many parts of your body such as:
- Many parts of your body: This is the most common type of skin discolouration that appears in two or more regions of your body, may it be in your organs or on the outside. This type is called generalised vitiligo.
- Only on one part of your body: This usually appears on any one side of your body at a younger age and stops.
- Only on few areas of your body: These types of skin discolouration are called focal vitiligo and it is usually hard to predict the outcome of such a skin condition. In some cases, the patches stop spreading and people suffering from this disease will face the difficulty of getting their skin colour restored.
White Patches on Face:
The worst part of vitiligo is when this type of skin discolouration begins appearing on your face. Vitiligo on your face can be caused due to the below-listed diseases.
This is a commonly found chronic skin condition wherein white blood cells cause inflammation on your skin. Your skin cells tend to multiply more rapidly and this shows on the surface of your skin. Psoriasis associates with severe itching and dry skin. Some of the most striking factors responsible for psoriasis is insect bites, smoking, vitamin D deficiency and stress. Sometimes even the consumption of alcohol can trigger psoriasis. This disease can leave white patches on your face.
It is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation on your skin and later results in the formation of patches on your body. This disease can affect children most often and as a result, this can be treatable. Even though it can be cured, its symptoms begin to show throughout their lives. This skin condition is often associated with severe itching and the formation of rashes around the upper layer of your skin. This can appear on your face, back or even arms.
3. Nutritional Deficiencies:
Skin discolouration can also be caused due to a number of nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium that can cause white patches on your face or other parts of your body. Well, though this disease is not contagious, it leaves a big scar on the amount of self-confidence you possess. Also, nutritional deficiencies indicate that you need to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
4. Seborrheic Dermatitis:
This type of skin disease is associated with severe itching, dandruff and causes red skin on the face, skin, scalp and chest. This disease is usually caused due to high-level stress among adults. It is also caused by bacteria. Its symptoms can be cured using antifungal creams, medicinal shampoos etc. Also, you must be lucky if you do not get this disease on your face as this can lead to white patches.
Home Remedies For White Patches:
Once you have been to a dermatologist, he/she will put you on a medication that is based on your skin condition. However, there are certain home remedies that you must keep in mind when taking medication for your skin condition. Here are some home remedies for treating white patches.
- Drink water and consume food from vessels made from copper. Especially drink water from a copper vessel that is kept overnight.
- Consume figs.
- Drink ginger juice as this increases blood flow to the white patches on your skin.
- Dry pomegranate leaves and powder them. Mix 8 grams of this in water and consume it every morning.
- Consume edible dry leaves, fruits and flowers in equal quantities. All you need to do is to mix 1 teaspoon of this powder with water and drink it.
- Regularly consume buttermilk.
Note: All of the home remedies will benefit you, but you also need to consult a dermatologist regarding the degree of the vitiligo condition and based on which you can ask him/her regarding consuming all of the above.
When To Consult A Doctor?
The first sign that you will have to take seriously is when you spot a white spot on any part of your body. Do not avoid the fact that it might just be a rash. Make it a point to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible, if not you may be inviting trouble. Here are some signs pertaining to vitiligo in which you will have to consult a doctor.
- When certain areas of your skin, hair or eyes are losing its original colour.
Also, you need to keep in mind that vitiligo has no sort of cure but the treatment is aimed at stopping the spreading of these white patches.
Ways To Prevent White Patches:
Well, if you have spotted a white patch on your body, then firstly you will have to consult a dermatologist and understand your skin condition. But there are some ways in which you can stop these white patches from spreading to other parts of your body. All you need to do is to follow these below-listed points and you can stay safe from white patches.
- Do not stress out much and try relaxing when you encounter a stressful moment.
- Do not use bathing soaps that drain all of your body oil
- Bathe every day for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Stand in the early morning sun for 15 to 20 minutes
- Do not use creams or cosmetics that you are allergic to.
- Add foods that are rich in iron such as meat, cereals, beans and leafy vegetables.
- Avoid excessive consumption of seafood.
- You will have to put a stop to all salt and sodium-based foods, if in case you are undergoing treatment for leucoderma.
Note: The above-listed tips can be followed, provided you are going through a skin treatment for white patches as prescribed by a dermatologist.
White patches are not considered as a serious or contagious skin condition, but this can leave a huge mark on your self-confidence and affect the way you act, feel and act in society. Here are some frequently asked questions will shed some more light into the topic of white patches.
1. Can white patches be cured?
White patches, also medically termed as vitiligo cannot be cured but it can be treated and stopped from spreading. This skin condition is a lifelong condition that can affect an individual’s way of thinking in society.
2. What foods do you need to avoid for white patches?
The type of food you consume too has effects on your skin. There are certain kinds of foods that can cause allergies to many. However, there are certain kinds of foods that can worsen white patches and make them spread more. Here are some of those foods that you need to avoid if you are suffering from white patches.
- Citrus fruits
- Gooseberries; and
White patches can be devastating for the person dealing with them. Though science has considered this a normal occurrence, the victim will have to fight the ugly reality of the way he/she looks every day. This skin condition can cause depression and other psychological problems that can hamper a person’s growth and thinking in society. All you need to do is when you have spotted a white patch, you need to consult a dermatologist as soon as possible and you can prevent it from spreading and causing total skin discolouration. Keep in mind, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.