White patches on the skin can be caused by a number of reasons, and the size of them can range from tiny white dots to large white patches. This skin discoloration can appear anywhere on the body including the neck, shoulders, upper back, shins, and forearms.

This skin discoloration is generally the result of a loss of skin pigmentation and can affect anyone regardless of gender and skin color. However, white spots are more noticeable if you have darker skin due to the obvious contrast between dark skin and spots.

White spots on the skin causes and possible treatments

There are a number of causes for white patches on the skin such as vitiligo , infections, autoimmune diseases, allergies, or damaged skin. There are also a number of remedies that can help reduce the appearance of these spots or whiteheads.

The medical name for these white patches on the skin is hypopigmentation . These spots appear when there is a reduction in the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to our skin, hair and eyes.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of white patches on the skin and possible solutions that can help reduce their appearance.

White spots from skin damage

Skin damage is one of the most common causes of white spots. This can be caused by burns, sun damage, acne, or any other reason that damages the skin. This is sometimes called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation.

If you have suffered any type of skin damage, it is important that you take a skin treatment as soon as possible. This can help prevent damage to the melanocytes that make up melanin and help prevent hypopigmentation.

Aloe vera and Scottish elm to avoid white spots on damaged skin

An excellent way to treat damaged skin is to apply aloe vera gel directly to the affected area. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It also provides the skin with moisture that acts as a barrier against other skin damages and has many other benefits for the health of your skin.

To use aloe vera to treat damaged skin and help prevent the appearance of white spots, all you have to do is apply aloe vera gel to the affected area 3 times a day.

Another effective natural remedy for damaged and inflamed skin is scotch elm. Scottish elm acts as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and is a natural astringent that prevents skin from drying out. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil to 30 ml of Scottish elm. Then, using a cotton ball, apply the mixture on the affected area.

Eczema or psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis can also be reasons for white patches to appear on the skin . Research found that during an eczema or psoriasis flare, proteins in cells inhibit the production of melanin that causes white patches. Then when inflammation sets in, the spots can become darker – this is called hyperpigmentation.

How to avoid white spots from eczema and psoriasis

You can use aloe vera and scotch elm water to treat eczema and psoriasis to prevent skin discoloration and white spots. You can use these 2 ingredients in the same way that you use for damaged skin.

You can also use coconut oil to treat eczema and if you suffer from psoriasis you can use these natural treatments.
Apple cider vinegar (VSM) is also one of the best natural treatments for eczema and it has many other benefits for the skin as well. You can mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and apply on the affected area with a cotton ball. After applying the VSM you will have to hydrate the skin to prevent it from drying out. For this you can use coconut oil for eczema.

Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and the fatty acids in it nourish the skin. Studies have shown that it is a good natural ingredient for treating eczema.

Tinea versicolor – (yeast) fungal infection

Skin discoloration can also be caused by pityriasis versicolor. This is a fungal infection that can discolor the skin and cause white patches. The fungus produces an acid bleach to form which changes the color of the skin. These patches do not tan and therefore appear white.

How to treat skin fungus to avoid white spots

One of the best ways to treat yeast infections to prevent white patches on the skin is tea tree oil . It is highly recommended to use an antifungal shower gel, apply it on the affected area and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. However, you can also make your own antifungal liquid body wash by adding 8-10 drops of tea tree oil for every 30 ml of your body wash. You can then apply it. Or, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply it to the affected area.

Other natural ingredients that can be used to treat yeast infections are:

  • Coconut oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • aloe vera


Vitiligo is a condition that commonly causes white patches on the skin. It causes white spots to appear on the body. Vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that destroys pigment-forming cells in the skin.

If you suffer from vitiligo, it is very important to always protect your skin from UV radiation. This is recommended either by covering affected areas or by using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.11. A sunscreen can not only protect your skin, but it also minimizes tanning. This makes the contrast between normal and discolored skin less noticeable which helps minimize the appearance of white spots, patches or dots.

Treat white spots from vitiligium

Actually treating the white patches that are caused by vitiligo is more complicated than it sounds . However, an interesting study in 1999 was carried out using phenol as a chemical scaler. Phenol is sometimes called carbolic acid. The study reported that phenol’s wounding action can help restore pigment to vitiligo spots.

Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis (HGI)

The guttata idiopathic Hypomelanosis, is a condition in which white spots appear mainly on the shins and forearms . In fact, it is not yet known for sure why HGI occurs. But it is suggested that it may be something related to UV exposure.

How to treat it

As with vitiligo, using a sunscreen with a high SPF and avoiding tanning beds is recommended.

A study using phenol for skin re-pigmentation found that, in just over 3 months, the condition improved in up to 75% of the treated areas. The study concluded by saying that this can be a very convenient outpatient procedure against HGI.

Pityriasis alba

Pityriasis alba begins with red, scaly patches on the skin. When these spots disappear, they usually leave white or pale spots on the skin. The cause of pityriasis alba is unknown, but it is said that it could be related to eczema and allergies.

Treatments for pityriasis white spots

Most doctors recommend the use of a topical cream to reduce dryness, flaking, and keep skin hydrated. Therefore, pityriasis alba can be treated with natural ingredients in a similar way to eczema treatment. You can try using rosehip oil or vitamin E to treat the skin and reduce dryness.

You can also use aloe vera to take advantage of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, in clinical trials, aloe vera gel has been shown to be 1% superior to hydrocortisone gel. Hydrocortisone cream is often prescribed by doctors for pityriasis alba.

Sutton’s halo nevus

Sutton’s halo nevus is sometimes called a halo mole. This is due to the white area surrounding the mole. The white spot around the mole is believed to be the body’s autoimmune response to it.

Usually, it is not necessary to treat halo nevus, but it is still recommended that a dermatologist check your mole. Always remember to apply extra sunscreen on the white spot because it will burn easier in the sun.

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is another condition that can cause skin discoloration and white patches. It is a rare condition that tends to mainly affect postmenopausal women, but it can affect men as well.

Lichen sclerosus symptoms are patches of white skin that are thinner than normal. It can affect any area of ​​the body, but mainly affects the genitals and the anus. The affected areas may also experience pain and itching. Because the skin becomes thinner with lichen sclerosus, it can break and bleed more easily.

The cause of lichen sclerosus is not known, however it could be related to an autoimmune disorder or an imbalance of hormones. Lichen sclerosus is a widespread condition and if symptoms start to worsen then it would be best to see your doctor.

Morphea causes white patches on the skin

Morphea is a rare skin condition that causes skin discoloration. There is usually no pain associated with these white patches and very often, the morphea goes away on its own.
The use of a good moisturizer is recommended to keep skin hydrated and avoid long, hot baths.

Some other oils that are great for hydrating the skin are:

  • Avocado oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Peach seed oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Grape seed oil

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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