White patches on skin can be caused by many problems, including infections, allergies, or even an autoimmune disorder. White dots on skin are actually pretty common, and can be either permanent or temporary. Sometimes skin cancers and can cause a white spot on skin, but these are very rare. If you have white patches on your skin, you are likely dealing with something much simpler. Here are a few of the most common reasons why you might have white patches, white dots, or white spots on skin.

What Causes White Patches on Skin?



This is a hereditary condition in which your skin loses pigment, leading to white patches or white dots on skin. This can happen to anyone no matter what their skin color is, but it is much more common in those who have darker skin. No one really knows what causes vitiligo.

How it affects your skin: The patches of white skin can be tiny or they can spread over the body over time, leading to a complete change in appearance for those who are most affected by it. The skin itself does not change; just the color of it does.

How to treat: There are some treatments that can slow the changing of pigment. You can also try sunscreen, use a dark concealing cream on the parts of the body that have white patches, and talk to a dermatologist about what other options might work for your particular case of vitiligo.


Tinea Versicolor

This is a very common problem that accounts for many of the complaints of white patches on skin. It is caused by yeast and begins with white, red or brown spots on the skin. The red and brown spots clear up quickly, but the white spots tend to linger. It is important to remember that though this is caused by yeast, it is not contagious.

How it affects your skin: Malassezia furfur is the name of the yeast that causes the problem. The white patches that linger on the skin can be unsightly, and can cause distress to the person living with them, but they are not contagious, and they do go away. There are very effective treatments for the problem.

How to treat: Your doctor can prescribe a treatment that helps kill the yeast and can make your skin look normal again. You might also try some over the counter remedies, such as Selsun Blue shampoo or Tinactin or Lotrimin. Keep in mind that these over the counter remedies might not work all the time, so it's definitely a good idea to check with the doctor.


Halo Nevus

This particular skin coloration is a pink or brown mole surrounded by very pale or white skin. This is often seen in people who have vitiligo. Though these patches are usually, it's a good idea to have it checked out once a year to make sure they stay that way.



This is the medical term for "white patches on skin." It basically means any area of the skin that is a pale or white color as compared to the surrounding skin. This can be caused by numerous problems, many of which are listed here.


Lichen Sclerosis

This includes white patches of skin, as well as areas that become very thin. It usually occurs around the genitals or anus. These spots might be much localized, or they could spread out over a wide area over time.



This condition leads to thick and hard skin, usually on the torso, arms and legs. The patches are typically red or purple in the beginning, and as they become thicker, they change to a yellowish color and the center might become white. Over time, the patches can turn brown and then completely white.


Pityriasis Alba

This is a condition that occurs mostly in children and teenagers with darker skin. These round or oval white patches on skin happen on the face, upper arms, torso and neck. They tend to look like eczema, and are sometimes just as flaky.


Tanning Salons

Some who spend a great deal of time in tanning salons might start to notice the occasional white spot on skin that has been exposed to the harsh rays. This is quite common among those who are taking birth control pills or other hormonal medications, as they can affect the way the body absorbs UV rays.


Skin Damage

Damage to the skin from burns, medical conditions, laser hair removal or infections can lead to white dots on skin, and those can be very permanent. Speaking with a dermatologist about what you might be able to do is your best bet.



This red rash itches like crazy. It often appears on the skin of children, but it can continue into adulthood. White patches might form in the midst of the rash. This is a very common problem that can sometimes be caused by an allergy, which means that you might have to be careful about what you put next to your skin.

Home Care for White Patches on Skin


Coconut Oil

This soothing oil fights fungi, bacteria and inflammation, as well as induces new pigment in the skin. Apply it two to three times a day for at least two weeks and look for improvement.



This heightens blood circulation, which can help with vitiligo. Put fresh ginger on a small area and let it sit until it dries. You can also try drinking the juice of a ginger root and mint leaves for a few days.



The active ingredients in these seeds can help reduce hypopigmentation. You can use it by applying the oil to the skin, then exposing it to sunlight for 15 minutes. Another option is to soak the seeds in ginger juice for three days, dry the seeds in the sun, grind them into a powder and drink about one gram per day with a glass of milk for 40 days.


Red Clay

Red clay is also high in copper content. To use this, blend the red clay with ginger juice and put it on the affected area, leaving it until it dries. Use this daily until you see good results.



Copper aids in the production of melanin. To try this, you must have copper pot a or cup. Pour drinking water into it and let it sit overnight at room temperature. In the morning, drink the water on an empty stomach. Do this daily to help spur melanin production.


Ginkgo Biloba

This popular herb is an antioxidant and helps boost your immune system. It can help reduce the problem and spur new pigment. Forty to eighty milligrams of the herb three times per day is usually recommended.


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