What is the definition of Pityriasis Alba?

Pityriasis alba is a common skin disorder of patches of light-colored (hypopigmented) areas.

What are the causes for Pityriasis Alba?

The cause is unknown but may be linked to atopic dermatitis (eczema). The disorder is most common in children and teens. It is more noticeable in children with dark skin.

What are the symptoms for Pityriasis Alba?

The problem areas on the skin (lesions) often start as slightly red and scaly patches that are round or oval. They usually appear on the face, upper arms, neck, and upper middle of the body. After these lesions go away, the patches turn light-colored (hypopigmented).

The patches do not tan easily. Because of this, they may get red quickly in the sun. As the skin surrounding the patches darkens normally, the patches may become more visible.

What are the current treatments for Pityriasis Alba?

The provider may recommend the following treatments:

  • Moisturizer
  • Mild steroid creams
  • Medicine, called immunomodulators, applied to the skin to reduce inflammation
  • Treatment with ultraviolet light to control the inflammation
  • Medicines by mouth or shots to control the dermatitis, if very severe
  • Laser treatment

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Pityriasis Alba?

Pityriasis alba usually goes away on its own with patches returning to normal pigment over many months.

What are the possible complications for Pityriasis Alba?

Patches may get sunburned when exposed to sunlight. Applying sunscreen and using other sun protection can help prevent sunburn.

When should I contact a medical professional for Pityriasis Alba?

Call your provider if your child has patches of hypopigmented skin.

REFERENCES

Habif TP. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 19.

Patterson JW. Disorders of pigmentation. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2016:chap 10.

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Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 2/Phase 3
  • Intervention Type: Drug
  • Participants: 40
  • Start Date: March 1, 2019
Efficacy of Topical Pimecrolimus in the Treatment of Pityriasis Alba: A Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Intervention Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 280
  • Start Date: May 1, 2017
Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D and Total Serum Immunoglobulin E Levels in Patients With Pityriasis Alba