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White patches on the skin are a common problem among children. However, there is no reason to be alarmed about this, as many of the issues that cause the patches can be fixed easily. There are many misconceptions about the white patches that appear on a child’s face. Here is all you need to know about them.
What are The Common Causes of White Patches on a Child’s Face?
1. Vitamin Deficiency
This is a very common reason for the appearance of the white patches on the face of many children. We all know that a balanced and healthy diet is essential and that many kids refuse to eat properly. This will result in many deficiencies, and vitamin deficiency is one of them.
The vitamin that is responsible for the production of melanin is vitamin B12. Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to white spots. They might appear not only on the face but anywhere on the body especially the forearms. A very high deficiency might lead to itching and further lightening. The skin might also turn red or pink in some cases.
Providing the child with a healthy and a balanced diet is the best way to treat these spots after you consult a doctor.
Zinc and calcium deficiency could also lead to this problem.
There are many cases where these spots on the child’s face turned out to be birthmarks. If such is the case, then there is no need to worry.
3. Tinea Versicolour
Tinea versicolour/ Pityriasis versicolour is a fungal infection caused by Malassezia. The way this fungus affects the children is by producing an acid that will interfere with the melanin production inside the body.
When this happens, the patches could either be lighter/ darker than the usual skin colour of the kid. At times, they are itchy and scaly too. They appear mostly on the torso and shoulders but might also be seen on the neck, face, and the stomach.
People who live in a humid or hot climate are affected more. Exposure to the sun can make the patches more pronounced since they are not prone to tanning. All you need to improve this condition is to make sure the kid does not have any immunity problems and consume a well-balanced diet.
The lack of hygiene is also known to cause this problem.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that scares many parents though they are harmless. The white patches on the skin are caused due to the loss of pigmentation. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder. This means that your body attacks its melanocytes. The cells that produce melanin are called melanocytes.
These spots are usually seen on the parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight but may also affect any other part of the body. The condition is more noticeable in children with a darker complexion though it can affect kids of various skin types. Vitiligo is not contagious, so there is no need to worry. Why this condition scares people is due to the way the patches look. The appearance, along with the lack of knowledge about the disease causes a stigma.
5. Spots Caused to Injury/Burns
Many times, trauma to a particular part of the skin can cause a lack of pigmentation or a delayed pigmentation at the site of the injury.
6. Worm Infection
This reason is a bit questionable. Some people claim the white patches are due to worms in the stomach. Though this reason is not sure, you can still deworm your kids once in a while.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Your Child’s Face at Home?
Here are some home remedies for white patches on face of a child.
- A broad spectrum sunscreen can be applied on the face before the child goes outside
- Ensure that your kid eats a lot of vegetables and fruits
- Although it is not sure that worms cause patches, there is no harm in deworming the child. You can do this every six months
- Many paediatricians advise using non-perfume and non-dye emollients. This will prevent dry skin which might sometimes lead to Pityriasis Alba
- In case the white patches are due to a fungal infection, then you can use antifungal creams which will work against the infection
How to Treat White Spots That are Caused due to Pityriasis Alba?
When the causes are not known it is hard to prevent them. You can make sure your kid eats healthy fruits and vegetables. You could also do this
1. Use Sunscreen
Make sure that your child goes out having applied a broad spectrum of sunscreen. This will help to prevent any sun damage and will protect your child.
2. Use Non-scented Emollients or Moisturisers
The patches that appear are sensitive when compared to the skin around it. This is why it is better to use moisturisers that are not filled with artificial fragrance or chemicals. Your paediatrician will know the best moisturiser you could use on your child.
When to Consult a doctor?
Any of the reasons mentioned above could be a reason for the appearance of white patches. Though most of them are harmless, at times, they could also be dangerous. So the best thing to do is check with a doctor for a proper conclusion.
Apart from that, do consult a doctor if you see any of these symptoms accompanied by the patches.
- Severe itching
- An alteration in the colour of the spots (usually to red)
- Loss of sensitivity on that area of skin
How to Help A Child with White Patches so That It Doesn’t Affect His Self Confidence?
Little children do not care about the way they look. But when they grow older, their self-awareness increases. This condition might hit their self-confidence.
If your kid has been affected by this condition and if they cannot be treated, the parents will have to help the child cope.
Here are some points you should keep in mind
- Start by talking to them and make sure that they are comfortable about the way they look
- If you feel like you cannot help them, then you can think about counselling
- Ensure that they are comfortable enough to talk about stuff to you. This way, you can find out if somebody is bullying your child due to his/her appearance
- If required, you can inform your kid’s teachers
- To get rid of any misconceptions, educate their friends
- If none of these points seems to work, you can always try using cosmetics to hide the spots on the face
White spots on a child’s face are more common than people think. Various reasons cause this, and most of them can be cured.