Variations in pigmentation on the facial skin is common. There are many reasons why one gets loss of pigmentation or white spots on the face - sun allergy, fungal infections, the reaction of cosmetics are the common causes. More serious diseases which cause loss of pigmentation include vitiligo, low grade skin malignancy and autoimmune skin diseases. It is a condition of an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system of the body attacks the healthy cells which produce melanin/ skin pigment and, in turn, starts affecting the ability of the melanin-producing cells from functioning thereby resulting in the light coloured and sometimes milky white pigmentation on the skin.
One of the less common and thankfully regressing causes of white patches on the skin is a form of Hansen's disease or Leprosy. This is easily treatable and non contagious. But before knowing how to remove these white spots from face, we must know about the reasons for their appearance.
(Also read: How To Remove Dark Spots From Face Naturally)
Reasons Behind White Spots On Your Face
Here are the main reasons behind white spots:
1. Indian Climate
The most common reason for such skin problems is the heat and sweat on the skin during the summer season. Accumulation of sweat and dirt on the skin surface makes it more prone to harbouring fungi, which colonise and affect the melanin production on the skin thus leading to white scaling on the sweaty areas of the body.
2. Hormonal Problem
The autoimmune, light coloured skin problem can be due to pre-conditioned hormonal reason ( hypothyroidism) or genetic imbalances. They have no relation with the diet of the person nor are they linked with any serious harm to other organs of the body and are only limited to the skin.
How To Treat White Spots From The Face
There are various myths related to such skin issues, one such is that it is communicable. Such skin problems are not infectious or contagious hence they cannot spread from one person to another. They can be treated with a diagnosis where your dermatologist will sample a small bit ( 3mm) of your skin and arrive at a documented diagnosis. Further, proper medication and regular check-ups will control the spread of the pigmentation.
These autoimmune skin problems are chronic diseases and cannot be treated with home remedies. Hence, they need proper treatment under medical conditions once tested. One needs to consult and go for a check-up to the skin expert. Moreover, fungal infections can be avoided by good personal hygiene. Some sun allergy spots can also be avoided by judicious use of broad spectrum sunscreen and staying away from harsh overhead sunlight.
How To Avoid White Spots From Face
Mostly people complain about the dark patches on their face, but such dark patches can easily be avoided by applying sun protection creams, whereas white patches are not so straight forward to treat as they have many reasons to appear on the skin.
In order to avoid such patches, people at home, who are prone to fungal infections, need to wash their hair every alternate day. A head bath often with any commercially based ZPTO or zinc pyrithione containing shampoo helps avoid colonisation with pathogenic fungi and thus keeps the body and scalp free from white fungal scales.
Some individuals get an allergic contact dermatitis or an allergy to cosmetics which can also heal with white pigment on the face. Hence avoid products without first testing them on your forearm and exposing the tested part to the sun. If there is any itching or redness at the test site, it is likely that you are allergic to the particular cosmetic and must avoid it. The same goes for the instant fix hair dyes which men use on the beard area. Many a time the dye allergy heals with a light coloured patch. Always do a test patch before applying hair dye.
How To Remove White Spots From Face?
Here are few tips to follow:
1. Regular usage of anti-dandruff shampoo which contains ZPTO.
2. Make sure the face is not oily and sweaty, wash the face with a mild foaming cleanser and clean it often with cold water, at least 2 to 3 times a day.
3. Avoid overexposure of the face skin to the sun because when you are sweating the chances of a fungal build up on the skin is more.
4. Always use a sunscreen, a broad-spectrum UV A and UV B protective sunscreen helps shield the skin
5. Patch test facial cosmetic and hair dye before using on the face.
Autoimmune light patches on the skin and bacterial infections on the skin require a medical consultant. Visit your dermatologist to identify what is the reason for the white patches on your face. Stay safe and healthy.
About the author: Dr. Shireen Furtado is Consultant - Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital.
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