Why Do I Have Raised White Spots On My Skin and Legs

by Mouli Chakraborty
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Sometimes or the other, we notice some white spots on our skin. But do we take it seriously? No! Most of the time, we ignore such spots thinking they are some sort of ordinary skin condition & will go away on their own. But, we can guarantee you that after reading this article you will not repeat this mistake again.

You will stop guessing these spots to be something ordinary & will run to see the doctor. Curious to know why? Come! Read the article yourself & know everything about white spots on the skin.

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What Do White Patches On Skin Look Like?

What Do White Patches On Skin Look Like
What Do White Patches On Skin Look Like

The white patches or spots on your skin will appear lighter than the rest normal area of your skin. They never affect your skin’s hair follicles or their pigment. Women mostly have these white spots on their skin at their younger ages than men. If your skin’s white spots are due to sun exposure, you will see the following:

  • Small white spots on your skin that appear lighter than the remaining surrounding areas of your regular skin
  • Spots whose shapes are round or oval
  • Spots with irregular shapes
  • Naturally smooth spots
  • White spots on legs, upper back, arms, or other areas that get easily exposed to the sun
  • Spots whose size is between 2-6 mm
  • White spots expand slowly & take many years to grow before they fully develop
  • Patternless spots having no grouping as well

However, sometimes some people also develop white spots due to sun exposure without specific signs or symptoms. The white spots on the skin are generally neither itchy nor inflamed. However, though apparently harmless, these spots & their frequency go on increasing as you age. 

Also, not every white bump on the skin is due to sun exposure. Various other factors or conditions result in white patches on the skin. And, it is really dangerous if you leave these white spots untreated. So, it is very vital to know the actual reason behind the white spots on your skin. 

Should You Visit The Doctor On Seeing White Spot On Your Skin?

White spots on your skin can happen from improper sun protection & most of the time, and it is harmless. However, if your mind tells you that you have some other skin condition, it is better to visit the doctor. This will help you to ensure that you are not having any serious issues in your body. Some of the symptoms you must notice before visiting the doctor are:

  • Discomfort in the region
  • Itching in the area & dry white spots on the skin
  • Redness or inflammation of the skin in that area
  • The white spot appears like flaky patches & you will see something oozing out of that area
  • You remain upset or sad about your appearance 

Discuss with your doctor if you see white dots on the skin and any of the above symptoms, especially if you have an autoimmune disease. By doing so, your doctor will take the necessary steps so that you don’t develop an autoimmune skin condition such as Vitiligo or eczema.

Individuals suffering from any allergy or asthma usually develop eczema very quickly, resulting in parched & itchy white patches on the skin. So, the individuals undergoing any kind of allergy or asthma must visit the doctor’s chamber immediately if they see any white spot on their skin. 

What Cause White Spots On Your Skin?

What Cause White Spots On Your Skin
What Cause White Spots On Your Skin

Now, you must be thinking, how and why do I get white spots on my skin! Your skin’s white spots may be due to any of the following reasons. Readout:

Guttate Hypomelanosis: 

This is a term used for sunspots. These are the white spots resulting from the loss of skin pigment from prolonged exposure to the sun. The size of these spots is nearly 1 to 3 mm & the spots come with no other symptoms.

They first develop in one’s legs & then progresses to the face, upper back & arms. It has not been found out till now – what causes sunspots? However, it is believed that the spots result from a missing skin pigment, melanin. 

These types of spots are hereditary. And, people see these spots mainly after their forty years of age. Sunspots are generally harmless & can be left untreated. However, you can treat these spots if you have any cosmetic issues.

Also, remember, don’t overexpose yourself or your skin to the sun. Otherwise, it will lead to skin cancer & you will have cancer white spots on the skin. 

Treatment
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Avoid overexposing your skin to the sun
  • Ask your doctor if you can have calcineurin inhibitors or go for laser treatment. 

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Pityriasis Versicolor / Tinea Versicolor:

This happens due to the spread of fungus over your skin at a fast pace. The Tinea Versicolor fungus usually lives on people’s skin surface. But, when this yeast rises out of control, fungus white patches on the skin occurs. Not only that, the area of your skin on which the yeasts grow out becomes dry, scaly, or itchy. And, the fungal spots become lighter/darker than their normal surrounding skin. 

The patches develop slowly on your skin & you will often see them in clusters. Many people notice these white spots only after they have a suntan. These fungal patches never stop or stay still. They keep on spreading over your skin if you don’t apply proper fungal medication to that areas. 

After continuing the medications, these fungus white patches on the skin will sometimes heal, leaving behind some faint white spots. Children aged between 3 to 16 years has a chance of developing Tinea Versicolor on their face, neck, shoulders, or arms. 

According to the researchers, there is no sure shot reason on what causes Tinea Versicolor. However, they believe that TV or PA is a benign kind of eczema/atopic dermatitis and can come from excessive sweating, humid or warm conditions, subsided immune system, or oily skin.

There is also another kind of PA, known as pigmenting pityriasis alba, which though rare, causes bluish-white scaly spots on your skin, usually outlined by an extremely light skin patch. Pigmenting pityriasis alba also largely develops in one’s face. Children are more prone to this fungal skin condition. 

Treatment-
  • It clears up gradually on its own (however, there are chances of recurrence )
  • Moisturizing creams 
  • Topical steroids 
  • Nonsteroidal creams
  • Anti-Fungal Creams

Milia 

Have you ever seen any raised white spots on the skin that are firm or 1 to 4 millimeters wide? Then it’s none other than Milia, a skin condition that occurs in one’s skin surface. Though the Milia-affected areas of your skin possess white fluid-filled sacs that seem to be painful, they are actually painless. 

The reason for Primary Milia, a randomly-occurred skin condition, is the trapping of skin keratin protein under one’s skin, which creates the fluid-filled sacs within his skin. And, if you face any trauma from certain circumstances like dermabrasion, blistering, skin inflammation & tissue damage, you will develop Secondary Milia. Besides, it also happens from any medicine’s side effect. 

Also, Milia en plaque is a very rare skin disease in which the surrounding areas of the skin regions affected by this disease become raised, itchy, red & scaly. This randomly develops in one’s healthy skin without any ascertained reason. 

However, Scientists believe that this disease points out an underlying discoid lupus erythematosus, another long-term skin issue with inflamed sores & face, scalp, or ear blemishes. People suffering from guttate hypomelanosis possesses fair skin & are the result of prolonged exposure to the sun. 

Treatment-
  • The doctor prescribed retinoid creams or ointments (having 0.1 percent tretinoin)
  • Steroid creams

Lichen sclerosis

Have you ever suffered from white patches in the thin-skinned areas surrounding your anus or vulva (in case you are a woman) or on your penis’ foreskin? Then, you have got a rare but severe skin disorder named Lichen sclerosus. Both younger & older people are affected by this skin condition at any part of their body.

You will not see any symptoms of this disorder until it starts becoming a severe case from a mild one. The symptoms that usually arise from this disorder are blistering, bruised skin, severe itching, bleeding, urinating problems & painful intercourse.

Though no known certain cause has been detected for this skin disorder, it is believed that the disease occurs from a hormonal imbalance. Besides, someone’s overactive immune system may also be the reason for this disease. 

Treatment-
  • Try to itch or scar less. In this way, you can eliminate any further skin thinning.
  • The doctor prescribed topical corticosteroid creams/lotions

Vitiligo

Ever heard that the melanocytes of an individual have stopped producing melanin? No, right? But, it happens for some people resulting in Vitiligo. Due to the non-production of melanin in people with this disease, their skin doesn’t get the required pigment, resulting in white patches over their skin, hair, or eyes. They have these white patches either in particular areas or all over their bodies. 

Also, Vitiligo being symmetric, usually happens in any particular side of one’s body. Areas of our body that are particularly affected by this disease are hair, knees, genitals & hands. Other than these parts, various areas of our body having mucous membranes also get affected by it, for example, our mouth & nose. 

Vitiligo may attack a person at any age, especially when he/she is passing his 20s. Though its reason of occurrence is not familiar to us, researchers suspect that it is either genetic or a kind of autoimmune disease, just like hyperthyroidism

Treatment-
  • Cosmetic treatment
  • Various therapies in trial & error
  • The doctor prescribed steroids, immunomodulators, or ultraviolet light therapy.

 Deficiency Of Certain Vitamins Or Minerals:

Sometimes white spots on the skin are not as serious as they look. They are harmless. And this is the case when such spots occur due to the deficiency of certain vitamins like Vitamin D & Vitamin E or Calcium. These spots caused by the deficiency of these vitamins or minerals denotes that you are mandated to consume a diet that is both healthy & balanced. 

Treatment-
  • Healthy & balanced nutritional diet
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin E, or Calcium supplements (whichever you need in your body)
  • The Vitamins D & E or Calcium supplements will fill up the scarcity of the same in your body & normalize the whitened spots of your skin. 

Wrapping Up

So, the next time you find any white spot on your skin, don’t take the risk. Just visit a reliable doctor & he will tell you what to do & what not after predicting the cause of such skin spots. He will give you the necessary medicines or tell you the remedy to this skin condition based upon the cause of the spots. Remember, it’s always better to do a checkup by the doctor, however small the spot may be. Because a small spot can lead to many serious consequences that you may have never ever reckoned with in your dream.

FAQs

 Q.1. Are white spots on skin normal?

Answer: White spots on your skin means your skin is having an issue. They occur due to the trapping of skin proteins & dead cells under the surface of your skin. Besides, white skin patches are an outcome of depigmentation. Most of the time, white skin patches are not much concerning if they do not show any major symptoms. 

Q.2. What causes white spots on your skin?

Answer: White spots on the skin are affected by Guttate Hypomelanosis, Pityriasis Versicolor / Tinea Versicolor, Milia, Lichen sclerosus, Vitiligo or Deficiency of certain Vitamins and minerals. 

Q.3. What deficiency causes white spots on the skin?

Answer: White patches on the skin generally arises due to the deficiency of certain vitamins like Vitamin D & Vitamin E or Calcium 

Q.4. How do you properly treat white spots on skin?

Answer: Guttate Hypomelanosis:

Treatment-

1. Wear sunscreen
2. Avoid overexposing your skin to the sun
3. Ask your doctor if you can have calcineurin inhibitors or go for laser treatment.

Pityriasis Versicolor / Tinea Versicolor:

Treatment-

1. It clears up gradually on its own (however, there are chances of recurrence )
2. Moisturizing creams 
3. Topical steroids 
4. Nonsteroidal creams
5. Anti-Fungal Creams

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