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What Is Causing the White Spots on My Face, and How Can I Get Rid of Them?

  • Skin discolorations, particularly on the face, are common. Some people get red acne spots, while others get dark age spots. 
  • However, one type of skin discoloration may have you scratching your head.

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  • You may notice white spots on your cheeks or other parts of your face. These spots can sometimes cover a large surface area and spread to other parts of your body.

  • White spots on your face can be caused by a variety of conditions, and they are usually not causing concern. Here are some of the most common causes and solutions.

1. Milia

  • Milia occurs when keratin becomes trapped beneath the skin. Keratin is a protein found in the skin's outer layer. This results in the formation of tiny white cysts on the skin. This condition is most common in children and adults, but it can also occur in newborn babies.

  • Primary milia occur when white spots are caused by entrapped keratin. These tiny white cysts, on the other hand, can form on the skin as a result of a burn, sun damage, or poison ivy. Cysts can also form as a result of a skin resurfacing procedure or the use of a topical steroid cream

  • Milia can form on the cheeks, nose, brow, and around the eyes. Some people develop cysts in their mouths as well. These bumps aren't usually painful or itchy, and the condition usually goes away on its own after a few weeks.

  • If your condition does not improve within a few months, your doctor may recommend a topical retinoid cream or microdermabrasion, or an acid peel to repair damaged skin. Your doctor may also use a specialized tool to remove the bumps.

2. Pityriasis Alba

  • Pityriasis alba is a type of eczema characterized by a flaky, oval patch of discolored white skin. This skin disorder affects approximately 5% of children worldwide, primarily between the ages of 3 and 16.

  • This condition's exact cause is unknown. It is most commonly seen in the context of atopic dermatitis. It could be caused by sun exposure or by yeast that causes hypopigmentation.

  • Pityriasis alba usually clears up on its own after a few months, but discoloration can last for up to three years.

  • If you have symptoms, use a moisturizing cream on any dry areas and an over-the-counter (OTC) topical steroid, such as hydrocortisone, to relieve any itchiness or redness.

3. Vitiligo

  • Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by pigmentation loss. Depigmented skin patches can appear anywhere on the body. 
  • These patches may begin small and gradually grow in size until white areas cover a large percentage of the body. However, widespread white spots do not always occur.
  • This condition can develop at any age, though most people do not show symptoms until they are in their twenties. If you have a family history of vitiligo, you are more likely to develop the disease. 

4. Tinea versicolor 

  • Tinea versicolor, also known as pityriasis Versicolor, is a skin condition caused by yeast overgrowth. Yeast is a common type of fungus on the skin, but it can cause a rash in some people. Tinea versicolor spots can be scaly or dry, and their color can vary.
  • Pink, red, or brown spots appear in some people with this condition, while white spots appear in others. White spots on lighter skin may go unnoticed until your skin tans. 
  • This skin disorder can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in people who live in humid climates, have oily skin, or have a compromised immune system.
  • Antifungal medications are the first line of defense against tinea vesicular because it is caused by yeast overgrowth. Consult your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications. Shampoos, soaps, and creams fall into this category. Apply as directed until the white spots disappear.

5. Guttate hypomelanosis idiopathic (sun spots)

  • Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, also known as sun spots, is a condition in which white spots appear on the skin as a result of prolonged UV exposure. The number and size of white spots vary, but they are usually round, flat, and between 2 and 5 millimeters in diameter.
  • These spots can appear on various parts of the body.
  • This condition is more noticeable in people with fair skin, and your risk of developing sun spots grows with age. Women frequently develop spots at a younger age than men.
  • Because these white spots are caused by UV exposure, you should wear sunscreen to keep them from worsening. This may help to prevent the formation of new ones.


  • The majority of white spots on the skin are not serious. Still, a doctor or dermatologist should be consulted for a diagnosis, especially if the white spots spread or do not respond to home treatment after a few weeks.
  • You might dismiss a white spot that doesn't itch or hurt, but keep an eye on your skin. Your doctor can recommend products to possibly restore pigmentation if you seek treatment early.


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