Pityriasis alba: Dermatologist Guide

Baby skin care

Pityriasis alba: Dermatologist Guide

“Doctor, My daughter, is getting dry patches on the skin of her face. Does she have Pityriasis alba or leukoderma?”

Your daughter most likely has Pityriasis alba rather than leucoderma. Pityriasis alba is not caused by vitamin or calcium deficiencies. Neither they indicate worm infestations.

This article will help you understand the reason for getting P.alba on the face and also guide you on how to manage them.

What is Pityriasis Alba?

Pityriasis Alba is characterised by the development of a few to many small patches of dry and pale skin on the face of your child. Rarely, such patches might appear on the neck, arms and shoulders. Initially, the patches are slightly red and then they turn pale with scaling. These patches appear more prominent in summers because of tanning of the surrounding skin, but they rarely itch or pain.

Pityriasis Alba versus Vitiligo

Studies show that patches of Pityriasis Alba are usually less white and might have redness and scaling on them. Vitiligo patches are milky white, and they do not have redness or scaling. But, the opinion of your doctor to differentiate between the two is highly recommended.

Watch this video to know more:

Reason for getting P. Alba

As commonly thought of, neither nutritional deficiency nor worm infestation is the causes of this condition. It is low-grade eczema often associated with dry skin, atopic dermatitis and asthma in the family.


Few patches that are barely visible should be left alone; a good moisturiser in the case of dry skin is recommended. However, if the spots are visible from a distance, then your dermatologist might prescribe you either pimecrolimus or tacrolimus, which can help in re-pigmentation of patches. Steroid creams are used if there is redness, but at best they should be avoided.


Pityriasis Alba is sometimes chronic; the patches might come and go for several years until the child reaches adolescence. In such cases, we recommend you to use a fragrance-free non-foaming face wash followed by moisturiser regularly. You should always apply child safe sunscreen before your child goes out in bright sunlight.

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