10 diseases that cause white patches on the face

White patches on the face are not only unsightly, they can also be a sign of illness. For this reason, they should not be overlooked.

Last update: January 12, 2022

White patches on the face are caused by many reasons. Sometimes they are due to harmless problems, such as fungal infections or freckles. Other times, the issue may be related to something more serious, such as dermatitis or vitiligo.

Therefore, the white patches on the face are not a matter that should be missed just like that. You have to observe them, look at other symptoms that may accompany them and consult with the dermatologist.

If the white patches on the face are accompanied by peeling of the skin or itching, it is indicated not to postpone the consultation with a specialist. Early care is the best way to prevent more serious problems.

Diseases that cause white patches on the face

There are various diseases and conditions that lead to white patches on the face. Among the most common are the following.

1. Pityriasis multicolor or versicolor

Pityriasis multicolor is perhaps the most common cause of white patches on the face. Although these light spots are usually located on the torso and arms, it is not uncommon for them to be on the face.

Sometimes they offer a light coloration, but they can also be brown or pink. The origin is a fungus and occurs more frequently in summer.

2. Pityriasis alba

This is a disease that first generates red spots, in addition to itching and scales. After the first ones disappear, they leave white patches on the face or other areas of the body.

These patches are scaly and slightly bluish.. It is rare and occurs mostly in children.

Many diseases that cause white spots on the face spread and present the same symptoms in other regions of the body.

3. Hypomelanosis guttata

Hypomelanosis guttata is the technical name given to the well-known sun spots. They arise where the skin pigment has been lost.

So there may be white patches on the face or other areas of the body. They measure from 1 to 3 millimeters and science still does not explain the exact cause. They almost always occur in people with fair skin and frequent sun exposure.

4. Vitiligo

Vitiligo is another disease that gives rise to white spots on different parts of the body. They usually appear first in the areas most exposed to the sun.

Sometimes it spreads slowly, but it can also spread quickly. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease with genetic roots. It is more common in middle-aged adults.

5. Milia

In this disease there are not only white patches on the face, but these also have a certain volume. These bumps are rarely larger than 2 millimeters.

They are formed by the accumulation of oil and dead skin cells which are filled with keratin, below the surface of the skin. This results in a plug that can be seen through the skin. The milia has a fairly regular presence on tattoos.

6. Sebaceous hyperplasia

This disorder corresponds to an atypical growth of the sebaceous glands. These are found in the deepest layers of the skin and produce sebum, a substance that lubricates the skin.

When they get bigger apply pressure and create a white, yellowish, or colorless bump on the skin surface. This problem is more common in people over 40 years of age.

7. Sebaceous cysts

Sebaceous cysts look very similar to sebaceous hyperplasia bumps. The difference is that cysts move when pushed with fingers, while the other bundles are held firmly in place.

They look like a small ball of water under the skin. When they get too big they can cause pain.

8. Seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis also belongs to the group of diseases that cause white patches on the face with volume. They grow to be more than an inch in diameter.

They change color over time and turn brown. Its appearance is like that of a drop of wax stuck to the skin. They are more common in middle-aged or older adults.

9. Xanthelasma

The characteristic of this disease is small bumps on the eyelids or around the eyes. These are irregular and sometimes have a yellowish hue.

It is believed that they are the result of a high level of cholesterol in the blood. In fact, they are fat deposits that are concentrated below the surface of the skin.

10. Skin cancer

Basal cell cancer of the skin may start with the formation of a pearly white bump, but it may also have other colors, such as pink, red, or brown. Also, sometimes there are white patches on the face or elsewhere. These are rough and have scales. They look like sores that don’t heal.

Regular facial examination allows for abnormalities to be detected that are promptly addressed.

Treatment options for white patches on the face

Treating diseases that cause white patches on the face depends on the type of condition and its level of severity. Over-the-counter products such as salicylic acid or topical retinoids can sometimes be used.

Other times a manual removal is required, in the case of bumps. Likewise, it is possible that a specific medication or more complex approaches with surgery, cryotherapy, immunotherapy or chemotherapy are needed.

Whatever the cause, the truth is that whenever white patches appear on the face, it is indicated to consult with the doctor. No remedies or solutions should be attempted without first having a diagnosis and a professional approval.

If the white patches on the face appear very suddenly or spread rapidly, the consultation is urgent. Likewise, if they occupy a large area, they grow without stopping, itch, bleed, hurt or remain for a long time without remitting.

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