Pityriasis alba

Pityriasis alba

Chris Schach

Author Bio -

 Key Points
*Form of dermatitis affecting young children and adults
*Cause is unknown
*Consists of patches of skin, oval or round in shape, which may be scaly and pink in color

Pityriasis alba is a common form of dermatitis which is very mild and typically affects children, though it may appear in young adults as well. The condition consists of the formation of pink colored patches of skin which are oval or round in shape and may be scaly in texture. Affected areas may be paler than surrounding skin after lesions have resolved. The condition may be more evident after sun exposure, as affected areas do not develop pigmentation as readily. The condition typically resolves within a few months, but may endure for several years. After it resolves, skin pigmentation typically returns to normal.

The cause of pityriasis alba is unknown.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Atopic Dermatitis
Contact Dermatitis
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Pityriasis rosea
Tinea Versicolor

    Key Points
    *Diagnosis based on the presence of certain factors during clinical examination
    *Laboratory testing may be performed to rule out other conditions

    Pityriasis alba is typically diagnosed based on the presence of specific symptoms and factors during clinical examination, including age, the presence and location of lesions, and scaling. Laboratory testing may be performed to rule out similar appearing conditions.

    *The condition does not typically require treatment.
    *Goal of treatment is to manage symptoms
    OTC Options: Moisturizers

    Pityriasis alba does not typically require treatment. When treatment is administered, the goal is to manage symptoms while the condition resolves. This may include the use of moisturizers to prevent dryness in the affected area, and pimecrolimus cream or topical steroids to relieve inflammation and itching.

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