DESCRIPTIONPityriasis alba is a benign disorder of the skin in which the child's skin temporarily loses pigmentation in patches. The skin of the cheeks and arms is involved. Pityriasis alba occurs most in children but may occur up to age 25.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSThe lesions are small white patches with vague borders. They sometimes have pinpoint-sized white papules (small, raised bumps).
The patches are most apparent in summer because the lesions cannot tan, and tanning heightens the contrast between the areas.
A child may have 1 to 12 patches at a time.
The patches feel smooth.
The patches may itch the child occasionally, but they are not painful.
Skin lesions with the following characteristics:
Unknown. The tendency may be inherited.
Family history of allergies of any kind.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSNone expected.
Your child's patches may come and go for years. Between ages 20 and 30 they disappear completely.
Apply prescribed topical steroids to your child's patches only once or twice a day unless directed otherwise. Apply immediately after bathing for better spreading and penetration. For the child's face, use only low-potency steroid products without fluorine. Apply a thin layer; a heavy layer wastes medicine and is no more beneficial to the child than a thin layer. Rub in gently for several minutes until the cream disappears.
Use sunscreen or protective clothing on your child to prevent sunburn in affected areas.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe prescription or non-prescription topical steroid medicine to control your child's itching and to prevent papules.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of pityriasis alba.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.