Pityriasis Alba is an ordinary skin problem in children that causes scaly rashes on the cheeks. Often it does not require to be treated and it resolves automatically during the time or puberty. Children with pityriasis Alba would develop small flaky patches on their face that would leave pale marks on the skin after it has cleared.
Exact cause of this disease is not known. It is believed to be a milder form of eczema or skin infection. Factors that trigger formation of light colored patches include heat, smoke, stress, and humidity. Pityriasis Alba is common in both sexes and it can develop in children of age group 5-15 years. The symptoms would disappear once they reach puberty or adulthood.
Risk Factors :
Children who are overly exposed to sun have increased risk of developing pityriasis. It is common in dark skinned children.
This skin problem can cause light colored scaly patches on the face, particularly on the cheeks and forehead of the child. It can also develop on other parts like shoulder, neck and upper arms that are more exposed to sunlight. The patch appears mostly in group and the size of these patches would be about 3-4 cm. In severe cases it can be itchy.
The patches would be either round or oval in shape. It becomes prominent during summer months due to tanning. The lesions or dark spots would usually disappear but it leaves fade color on the affected area. The term ‘pityriasis’ means scaly and ‘Alba’ means white and hence this disorder is marked by the presence of white scaly patches on the face.
No test is necessary to detect pityriasis Alba. Your doctor can identify it by mere physical exam.
Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Pityriasis Alba :
Home Treatment :
If you notice any flaky patches on your child’s skin you can apply moisturizing lotion like Vaseline generously. Such children should avoid using fragmented soaps and totally avoid sun exposure. In case they have to go out in sun, it is better to use sunscreen cream at least 30 minutes before going out.
Medical Treatment :
Often, no treatment is required for pityriasis Alba since it clears off within few months. For cosmetic purpose, your doctor may prescribe low strength topical steroids. He may also suggest using tar paste on the affected area of the skin. PUVA or Psoralen plus Ultraviolet therapy is given for chronic cases which helps in getting the normal skin color.
Topical creams and emollients are very effective for treating pityriasis Alba. High strength of steroid creams are not safe for using on your face since it can cause skin atrophy. Some of the common skin products like curel, nivea, lanolin, glycerin, aqueous cream and Lubriderm are effective in treating scaly patches on the skin. Emollients like moisturel and eletone can also be used.