So what are these little white spots on my skin? The most common type of discoloration is known as tinea versicolor (or white skin spots).
This is a pretty typical hypopigmentation disorder that's usually caused by a fungus that lives on the skin.
These tiny round white marks are not dangerous - but they can be unsightly and annoying........
Especially if you have darker skin or a tan.
Unlike other skin spots, these are not an age related problem as people of all ages can get them, especially if they tan often.
Hypopigmentation disorder will usually show up on the shoulders, back, and chest and they may not always be white in color.
They may look a bit darker or light than the surrounding area.
For example, some will show up as small brown spots. Also, they may itch - especially during hot weather or if you haven't bathed in a while.
Most people have this yeast and it’s completely harmless and very common – in fact -- this yeast is also responsible for jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.
However, most people who have notice them more during warm humid weather because the yeast and fungi can grow during this time and most people are sporting a tan which makes these white dots show up more.
Tinea versicolor can aso affect people with oily skin which is why it is more common in younger people than older folks.
As we age, our complexion becomes drier and this sometimes eliminates the problem.
Other causes can include an impaired immune system, hormonal imbalance,
and certain prescription medications - such as birth control and acne
-- especially when you combine these medications with over use of
tanning salons or excessive sun exposure.
It is thought that these medications can interfere with the tanning process causing an uneven white tan spots.
In some rare cases, white spots can be a result of a skin disease known as Leucoderma or Vitiligo.
This condition only affects about 2% of the population but
instead of round small white spots, this disease appear in clusters or
patches of white rings – this is where skin the lacks melanin – which
was destroyed by the disease.
The course of treatment usually involves the use of anti fungal
creams, soaps and oral prescription medications. The simplest method to
help relive itching and reduce some white patches is using a special
soap prescribed by your doctor.
Some people find relief using a specific anti-fungal, anti-dandruff shampoo for their body and hair like Nizoral A-D .
While this shampoo is made for itchy flaky scalp - but many people have
reported good results using it as a body wash too. This soap helps to
reduce or slow the growth of the fungus responsible.
It's actually a pretty nice shampoo and does wonders for
the hair too. Many people who suffer from Tina versicolor due to fungus
usually suffer from an itchy scalp - so you can take care of both
problems with one product.
Just keep in mind this is a very hard condition to keep under control and there really is no cure....it's
just a constant battle to keep the fungus to a minimum. That requires
regular bathing and the use of anti-fungal soaps and shampoos.
In extreme cases you doctor can prescribe anti fungal pills, but
they can very hard on the live. So, you'll need to have regular blood
tests and even then, it's not a cure, just helps keep the proliferation
of the fungi under control.
For most people this extreme treatment works well and the spots
will go away - but they usually come back in a few years. So whatever
treatment you choose, be prepared to repeat it to keep the condition
Also, for better results you can combine the prescription medication with regular washing and shampooing with anti-fungal soaps.
And, try to reduce sun exposure and the darker you are the more
noticeable the color difference will be. If you must have a tan,
consider using a self spray on sun tan for a beautiful brown color without UVA damage.
Finally, some physicians believe that the fungus that causes
these annoying skin white spots can also live on your clothing, so make
sure to keep them clean by dry cleaning or washing them often.
Renew Intensive Skin Therapy - If your complexion is blotchy or spotty, consider an intense facial to even out tone and texture
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Tinea versicolor Photo courtesy of Jeremy Joslin
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