White patches due to…
White patches affecting the skin may be small and localised or extensive, depending on the cause.
As with dark marks, camouflage cream can cover white patches and match the colour of the masked areas with the normal surrounding skin.
Some causes of white patches in the skin:
- Vitiligo is a condition of uncertain cause that may occur at any age from childhood onwards. The skin loses its normal ‘melanin’ pigment leaving white patches that often affect opposite halves of the body in a curiously symmetrical fashion. For example, if one cheek or hand is involved, the other cheek or hand is often also involved. The patches may be small or large, may affect any part of the body, and in rare cases may affect the entire skin. Vitiligo is often persistent, continuing over many years, and is much more noticeable in people with darker skin. Severe sunburn may occur in the white patches.
- Injuries such as minor burns, cuts and grazes may cause ‘depigmentation’ or whitish patches, especially in people with darker skin. It is unclear why increased pigmentation occurs in some cases and depigmentation in others. In more severe injuries the depigmentation is accompanied by scarring (see tattoo section below).