Our expert says:
It could be pityriasis alba. People with this extremely common condition develop uneven, round or oval patches after sun exposure. The patches are dry with very fine scales. Varying from 1 to 2 inches in diameter, they are most common on the face (cheeks), neck, upper trunk, and upper arms - more prevalent in children 3 to 16 years old.These are completely benign, similar to a mild form of eczema. The involved patches don't darken with sun exposure the way the surrounding skin does. Treatment involves daily lubrication with a good moisturizer (such as Epizone A), especially whenever the skin gets wet. Sometimes topical steroid creams help. Even with no treatment at all, the spots will disappear on their own -- although it may take months to years. Some people get pityriasis alba every summer during childhood. Even then, the pigmentation will eventually end up normal.
The other extremely common white-patch condition is called tinea versicolor. This is a mild, superficial fungal infection, somewhat similar to ringworm.Since the affected skin doesn't change color well with sun exposure, it usually becomes apparent as white patches during the summer months. Tinea versicolor is most common in adolescents and young adults 15 to 30 years old (although it can certainly happen at any age). The infection is chronic and recurs easily, but it causes no other health problems. People are most susceptible to the fungus during hot months in humid areas. Your doctor can do a skin scraping to confirm and you can treat this with bathing with niz sjampoo as soap.
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