What is Pityriasis Alba?
Pityriasis Alba refers to a skin condition involving mostly children and young adults. This condition is characterized by round or oval red patches. These patches clear away with moisturizers or creams but can leave marks on the skin surface after the patches fade away. Pityriasis Alba is said to occur in association with eczema.
What are the Causes of Pityriasis Alba?
What causes Pityriasis Alba is not known but it is considered to be a type of atopic dermatitis. This is a variant of eczema in which the immune system becomes overactive and starts attacking the healthy substances in the body instead of bacteria and virus taking them to be harmful as it is not able to differentiate between the two. This causes an allergic reaction and the rashes associated with eczema. Pityriasis Alba is most common in children and people in early teens. Children exposed to direct sunlight are said to be at an increased risk for developing Pityriasis Alba, although there is no substantial proof to establish this theory.
Is Pityriasis Alba Contagious?
Pityriasis Alba is not contagious and does not spread from direct or indirect contact with a patient.
What are the Symptoms of Pityriasis Alba?
People with Pityriasis Alba have round or oval red colored patches on the skin surface. These patches are irregular and dry. The patches are normally found on the face but may also appear on the arms, neck, chest, and back. These patches may be visible for a few weeks after which they start to fade away until they are completely gone within a couple of months. They are seen more during the summer months when the skin surface gets tanned when exposed to direct sunlight.
How is Pityriasis Alba Treated?
Pityriasis Alba does not require any treatment. Moisturizers or topical steroid creams like hydrocortisone may be prescribed for some people to be applied on the patches. The creams help the discolored patches fade away and also take care of the dryness of the skin and itching that is caused due to Pityriasis Alba. Pityriasis Alba is a recurring condition and even if the patches go way they tend to return in the future, although it completely goes away by the time the patient reaches adulthood or in their early 20s.