White spots on skin in adults and children: Why do they happen

The risk of infection increases due to changing weather, hormones, dust-soil and UV rays. You must have noticed how many people begin to get white spots on their hands or faces. They are amply visible as they are completely different from one’s skin colour. However, it isn’t necessarily a type of skin condition known as vitiligo.

In fact, because of this misconception, a lot of people stop eating dairy products because they believe that doing so will help manage their white spots. But this is a myth! Don’t worry, we’ll help you understand what may be causing the white spots.

White spots

Due to the lack of melanin in the skin, white spots appear on the face as well as on the body. Additionally, skin spots can occur when dead skin cells or skin proteins become trapped beneath the skin’s surface. It can cause great difficulties in patients of all age groups. It can even cause a lack of confidence in many people because it affects their appearance. But do not mistake it for vitiligo.

White spots
White spots on the face can be because of sun damage to your skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To help you understand this condition, Health Shots spoke to Dr Banani Choudhary, Consultant Dermatologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai.

Causes of white spots in children?

Dr Choudhary explains, “In babies and toddlers, there is a skin allergy problem called pityriasis alba, due to which white spots also appear on the face. Many parents stop giving dairy products and eggs or any white coloured foods to their children, thinking that eating them will aggravate the problem. But in reality, it is a myth.”

Therefore, it’s crucial to consult a doctor before stopping to feed your kids these foods. Doing so hampers growth and mental development.

Causes of white spots in adults

Adults develop white spots on sun-exposed areas and areas with dry skin. Unlike vitiligo, these skin conditions typically have sensations like burning and itching.

Dr Choudhary explains that “A common skin infection called pityriasis versicolor can cause hyperpigmentation patches on the body especially in both children and adults. People who sweat a lot develop these patches. Oral anti-fungals and anti-fungal washes can help in curing this problem.”

White spots
White skin spots are not usually a reason for concern! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Other reasons why white spots appear on the skin

The colour of the skin becomes cloudy even when there is any kind of rash or swelling on the skin. Dr Choudhary says, “White patches may also develop on the skin after the wound has healed.” There’s nothing to worry about.

Apart from this, post-inflammatory hypo-pigmentation can also cause white spots. Skin inflammation can cause considerable damage to the skin melanin, which can result in spots. However, these marks can fade away with time.


Dr Choudhary says, “Not all white spots on the face or body are vitiligo and one should not take self medicate or try home remedies without doctor’s advice.” You should focus on treating the root cause of white spots on the basis of clinical trials and successful treatment.

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