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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What do white patches on the face in a child indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Kakkar S.


Practicing since :2002

Answered : 8032 Questions

Posted on Fri, 27 Apr 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hello Doctor,
My 5 month old daughter has developed white patches/discoloration on her cheeks. Initially we thought it could be because of winter, but now it looks quite prominent. We are afraid if this is vitiligo. Attached, the pictures for your reference.
Can you please explain the reason/cause for this and how to treat it ?

Is this something to worry about ?
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Pityriasis XXXXXXX or post inflammatory hypopigmentation

Detailed Answer:
Hello. Thank you.

I am Dr. kakkar(Dermatologist). I have noted your concern and viewed the images.

I can see faintly white patches on cheeks which seem that they are most likely due to pityriasis XXXXXXX or post inflammatory hypopigmentation rather than of vitiligo.

I suggest you to continue with the moisturizer on face. In addition you may use a mild topical steroid cream over the patches e.g desonide 0.05% cream, twice daily. It is a prescription medication.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Kakkar S. 4 hours later
Thank you very much for the reassurance doctor !

1. What is the potential reasons/causes for this ? Knowing this, we can avoid the triggers.

2. Is it contagious ? Since my elder son (9 years old) had similar patches a few months ago when we were during our summer vacation in XXXXXXX (but it isn't very prominent).

3. Right now it is only on the cheeks, but will it spread ?

4. Is it due to any vitamin deficiency? We are giving her vitamin D drops daily. Hope this is fine.

Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Pityriasis XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:

Pityriasis XXXXXXX is due to underlying dry skin (it is more common in atopic individuals) and presents as faintly white patches (hypopigmented patches unlike vitiligo patches which are depigmented) most commonly on face. Pityriasis XXXXXXX is not contagious and it does not usually spreads to other body sites though it may merge with other patches in vicinity and result in a bigger patch.. It is certainly not due to any vitamin deficiency.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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