How to get rid of white spots on the face of babies and kids?
Is occurence of white spots on face and hands due to vitamin deficiency?
Can be the white spots on face from sun?
Are there home remedies for white spots on face and other parts of the body?
Are white spots and white patches the same? Is it something to be worried about?
A lot of parents are confused on many of the above questions about white spots on the face.
Recently, I had to go the doctor’s clinic with my kid. While we were waiting for our turn, I happened to talk to a mom. Her child looked perfectly healthy to me, so I wondered what she was doing there. Turns out there were white spots on toddler’s face.
Upon careful inspection, I could see the culprit, though it was quite faint. She was told by a friend that what her child had was a condition called Vitiligo. All along she thought that these marks were a sign of some deficiency. She was worried and wanted a doctor to confirm.
I am no expert in the matters of health, so I did my best to comfort her. She went in and I waited.
After a while, she came out looking relieved.
It isn’t Vitiligo! She said.
She told me the name and all I could catch was Alba. I went home and told my mom of this and she told me that I had it too as a kid!
Turns out, these are quite common. But they also have a lot of misconceptions associated with them.
Let’s clear all that with today’s post.
White spots on toddler’s face – what are they?
White spots on toddler’s face are more common than you think. There are various reasons why these spots can pop up on your adorable munchkin’s face.
Most often the white spots on toddler’s face are due to a condition called Pityriasis Alba. I know, the name sounds quite scary, right?
But you don’t really have to be, if it is Pityriasis Alba. While the name sounds like it could be related to a famous Hollywood star, it just means scaly and white.
In this case, the spots would be a roundish (or even irregular) with a diameter of 1-4 cms. It would be dry to touch and is usually seen on the face. While the face is where these spots are commonly seen, it can also be found on the neck, shoulders and upper arms. At times, it may also be seen on the torso and legs.
Pityriasis Alba is seen in kids in the age range on 3-16 (boys more than girls). It isn’t seen in babies.
The next question you may have is the cause of Pityriasis Alba. So what causes Pityriasis Alba?
The reason is actually not known. It is generally spotted during summers. This is because skin tans in summer and the white patch becomes more prominent. If you stay in a place which has cold winters, you may be able to notice that the patches have become scaly.
While the cause isn’t clear, what all doctors agree is that this condition is harmless. (Phew!)
How to get rid of white spots on the face if its Pityriasis Alba?
Since the causes aren’t known, prevention becomes difficult. But what you can do is to ensure that your child eats a balanced diet with fruits and veggies.
Apart from that you can do this
- Use sunscreen
Ensure that your child uses a broad spectrum sunscreen while stepping out. It will help to protect your child’s skin against sun damage.
You can use the Lotus Herbals Sunblock Cream, Chicco Sun Milk, Seba Med Sun lotion, Nivea Kids Sun Protection. The first one has an SPF of 25 and the rest are 50.
- Use non-scented moisturizers or emollients
The patches are sensitive compared to the surrounding skin; hence it would be better to use a moisturizer that is not loaded with chemicals or artificial fragrance. Your pediatricians can advice a good moisturizer/ emollient.
Can Pityriaisis Alba be cured?
This is a condition that doesn’t need any specific treatment. Usage of creams and moisturizers will help to control the symptoms or the white spots. In time, these spots will fade.
However, not all white spots are Pityriasis Alba. Make sure you get the spots checked by your child’s paeditrician to confirm.
Other factors that cause white spots on the face:
As I mentioned earlier, Pityriasis Alba is not the only reason behind these white spots. Now let us look at the other factors that cause white spots on toddler’s face.
#1. Vitamin deficiency
This is another very common reason behind the appearance of white patches on face of children. We know about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. But some kids re fussy and don’t eat a balanced diet. This can lead to deficiencies with vitamin deficiency being one of them.
Vit B12 is a vitamin that has an impact on melanin production. Hence the deficiency can lead to white spots. These spots aren’t limited to the face and can appear anywhere on the body with forearms being the most common. Severe deficiency may lead to further lightening and itching. The skin can turn pink or red in extreme cases.
The best way to treat these spots is by providing a balanced diet/ supplements as per the advice of your doctor.
The deficiency of zinc and calcium can also cause white spots in kids.
- 10 Little Known Tactics To Make a Fussy Eater Eat Properly
- 21 Healthy Recipes for Kids (especially for Fussy Eaters)
Some spots on your child’s face could be a birthmark. To know more about birthmarks, you can read this article that speaks all about it in detail.
#3. Tinea versicolour
Tinea versicolour/ Pityriasis versicolour is called chunangu or porikanni in Malayalam.
This is a fungal skin infection caused by Malassezia. This fungus produces an acid which can affect the production of melanin.
In this case, the patches could be darker/ lighter than the normal skin around it. It could be scaly and itchy too. It is seen mostly on the shoulders and torso. These spots are also seen on the face, neck and stomach as well.
Tinea versicolour is mostly seen in people who live in areas with a hot, humid climate. Since these patches aren’t prone to tanning, sun exposure can make it more pronounced.
It is seen that this skin condition affects teens and adults. So does that mean small kids are safe?
They are, if they consume a well-balanced diet and do not have any immunity disorders.
Note: Hygiene or lack of it is not known to be linked to Tinea Versicolour.
Vitiligo is called vellapand in Malayalam, ven kushtam in Tamil and shwetha kushta or safed daag in Hindi.
This is a skin condition most parents are scared of and yet is harmless. The lady I met also was scared that her child could have this condition.
Vitiligo is caused by loss of pigmentation and can lead to white patches on the skin. It is said to be an autoimmune disease which causes the body to attack melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin.
It can appear on any part of the body. But usually it is seen on the parts that get exposed to the sun.
Though it can affect with various skin types, it is more noticeable in people who have a darker complexion. It is also seen across age groups.
Contrary to myths, vitiligo is not contagious either. Despite all this, why does vitiligo scare people?
The appearance of these patches can alter the way you look. That combined with the lack of knowledge about this condition gives rise to the stigma associated with it.
#5. Spots caused to burns/ injury
At times, trauma to the skin can cause delayed re-pigmentation or even lack of pigmentation at the injury site. For instance my LO had scratched her face and was left with a thin cut on her cheek. Now there is a faint pale line where she scratched herself.
#6. Worm infection
This one is a bit murky. Some claim that worms can cause white spots on the face. While there is no clarity on the connection, it wouldn’t hurt to ensure that your little munchkin is regularly dewormed, right?
Why/when should you get the white spots checked by a doctor?
The reason why white spots appear on your toddler’s face (or other parts of the body) may be due to any of the reasons mentioned above. At times the spots you think are dangerous might be harmless but at times it could also be the other way around.
So it is always advisable to get it checked by a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Apart from that, if you see these symptoms, do consult a doctor if any of the below mentioned occurs.
- Severe itching
- The color of the spots changes to red
- Loss of sensitivity on the spot
White spots/ patches and self confidence:
Kids are usually not very concerned about how they look. But as they grow older, self-awareness increases. Discoloured patches on the face can cause self-confidence to take a hit.
If your child has a condition that causes the patches/ spots to remain on the skin for a while or can’t be treated, then as parents, you can help the child cope.
You can keep these points in mind
- Make sure that you talk to them and help them feel comfortable about their appearance.
- Opt for counselling if you feel that you are unable to help them.
- Make sure that they are comfortable to share things with you, this way you can ensure that they are not being bullied due to their appearance.
- Inform their teachers if required.
- Educate friends about their condition,to dispel myths and misunderstandings if any.
- If nothing seems to work, you can look at using cosmetics to hide the spots.
Frequently asked questions about white spots on the face and body of kids:
I have covered almost everything related to the white spots on the face and body. Still having doubts? Read the frequently asked questions about white patches and white spots.
#1. My child is 17 years old and he has a spot on his face. It looks like Pityriasis Alba but isn’t he out of the age bracket to have this?
At times the Pityriasis Alba spots take up to a year to fade. So it could be possible that the spot appeared before and you are noticing it only now. If there is no itching/ loss of sensitivity then there is no reason to be alarmed, but it is best to check with a doctor.
#2. My child has Tinea versicolour. The doctor said it is a fungal infection. I ensure that my child is clean at all times and yet this has occurred. I am feeling guilty.
Despite being a fungal infection, Tinea versicolour does occur due to poor hygiene. See the causes mentioned above.
#3. Is Vitiligo hereditary?
While it doesn’t happen in all cases, there is a possibility.
#4. How do I know that the white spot on my child’s skin isn’t Vitiligo?
The borders of the spots are usually sharp in contrast when compared to surrounding skin. They also change in size and become bigger. You can consult a doctor for confirmation.
#5. Does eczema cause white spots on the skin?
Yes. After the rashes heal, eczema can leave behind de-pigmented spots.
#6. What is Lichen scelorosus?
It is a rare condition that causes white patches, but mostly on the genitals.
#7. Are there any treatments available for white spots on the skin?
Reasons for the appearance of white spots are different and hence the treatments are different too. General precautions that you can follow are the usage of sunscreen, good and balanced diet and proper moisturization.
- For Tinea versicolour, anti-fungal creams are used.
- For spots arising due to deficiencies, supplements may be prescribed.
- The other treatments followed are steroid medication for topical application, steroid tablets, phototherapy or skin grafting in extreme conditions.
#8. My child has developed white spots on his body. Could it be due to the perfume I am using?
Allergic reaction is a possibility. Usually it manifests as a rash, so to be sure try avoiding the perfume to see if there is a change.
I know that we can freak out seeing white patches or white spots on toddler’s face and wonder if anything to do with deficiencies or if it is the symptom of a serious disease. Some of us may even opt for some OTC medication to heal/ hide the spots.
But rather than do all that stick to a healthy balanced diet, moisturizer and good sun-protection when they are out. As for the rest – leave it to your trusted pediatrician.
You can also read about the thrush in babies.
Dear moms, I hope this answers the queries you may have regarding white spots on toddler’s face. Do let me know in comments if you have any doubts/ concerns.