Pityriasis Alba is a skin condition normally seen in children and teens between the ages of 3 and 16, which is often limited to one area of the body. In the United States around 1/3 of school age children may develop the condition at some point during this age range.
Pityriasis Alba is also referred to as erythema streptogenes, pityriasis simplex, and pityriasis streptogenes.
Symptoms of Pityriasis Alba
Symptoms associated with Pityriasis Alba are round white or just pale scaly skin that is seen on the upper body, neck, arms, and face. These patches of dry skin may be all over the area or in clusters. There may be a small defined rise of the skin, but the rash is commonly referred to as flat. The symptoms often worsen when out in the sun in the summer or even during the winter when the skin is often dry.
The rash is characterized as being ova to round patches of various sizes and is normally white or lighter than the skin. The edges are often a bit raised.
The skin condition begins with a small very slight red lesion that is often not noticed, then the rash rises a bit, turns white or pale, and then turns flaky. The lesions are small from 0.5 centimeters to 4 centimeters with fine scales.
In the majority of cases, the rash will disappear in a few weeks up to one year. On the face, it normally takes one year before the rash is gone completely.
Pityriasis Alba Treatment Tips And Home Remedies
Causes of Pityriasis Alba
The cause of Pityriasis Alba is not known, however, a few studies have revealed it may begin with a mild eczema breakout, while intense treatment of eczema may also be an issue. Other students have shown that it may be more apparent if there is a family history.
The area affected by Pityriasis Alba has a decrease in the amount of melanocytes, which is responsible for skin color. This same determination is also found in a type of eczema known as atopic dermatitis.
Even though there is no known cause, some factors can trigger the condition to worsen.
The factors that make the skin condition worse include heat, humid climate, asthma, bath soaps, and laundry detergent. During the summer months, those with sensitive skin and other skin diseases notice the condition is worse when the temperatures rise.
Humid climates make the skin condition worsen due to the way the humidity dries the skin.
The bath soaps used may react to the skin and worsen the condition as well. In some cases, the additives such as perfumes are the culprit.
Skin asthma has lesions that are similar to pityriasis Alba.
Laundry detergents just like bath soaps have additives that can irritate the skin and trigger Pityriasis Alba.
Medical Treatment for Pityriasis Alba
Medical treatment is not necessary, as the skin condition will disappear in a few weeks up to one year. Physicians will not prescribe a medication since it will help the rash go away.
Home Remedies for Pityriasis Alba
The best way to treat Pityriasis Alba is with home remedies. The best treatment is actually in the prevention. Since hot weather and the sun can bring on Pityriasis Alba, it is best to stay out of the sun and indoors when the temperatures are very warm. You should also use sunscreen to help protect the skin. In winger when the skin is dry, it is a good idea to use moisturizes on your children’s skin especially the upper body, neck, arms, and face.
When the rash appears, the best way to treat is using petroleum jelly or even baby oil to help soften the dry flaky skin. You can also use lotions but be sure that you do not use ones that have alcohol or perfumes which may worsen the skin condition.
When taking a bath, use a moisturizing soap that will not dry out the skin. Also, make sure to use hypoallergenic soaps or gentle soaps. Even for the older children and teens, switching back to baby bath products are a great idea as they often provide the moisturizing agents the skin needed.
A good laundry detergent to use to help ensure that breakouts do not occur is Dreft, which is a detergent, made specifically for infants clothing.