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Question
Posted by: Ron | 2006-07-29

Q.

Bilateral skin rash


Thanks for the valuable information you provide via the internet. For about a year now I have been experiencing a bilateral rash (just below the ear - non-hairy area - about one inch down from the TMJ's on both sides - and the exact location) which seems to develop at nights (sort of scaly, dry, and white, but not always evident). Sometimes it is not obvious but if I am using my electric beard clipper the vibration in the area tends to make the dryness appear more intense. It rarely itches, and a simple application of any cream that keeps the area moist, hides the dryness. What can this be? Your feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks,
RAH

Expert's Reply

A.

Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Ron
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.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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