Pityriasis alba is a common skin disorder similar to very mild eczema, causing round or oval, colorless, finely-scaled patches of skin. It is characterized by ill or well-defined, chronic patches of mild erythema, hypopigmentation and furfuraceous scaling. Size of patch is about that of a rupee; lesion is solitary or there may be 2-3 patches. Pityriasis Alba mainly affects the forehead, cheeks and chin of children, to a less extent, that of adults. It can occur at any time of the year, but is more common in cold winter and dry hot summer. Pityriasis alba depend on the body symmetric minimally scaly hypopigmented discrete and confluent macules.
Pityriasis alba appears as superficial, pale pink to light brown macules with irregular, poorly circumscribed margins.
During the winter season when the skin becomes dry, the rash becomes flakier. This disease is more visible during summer months when the surrounding skin gets tanner. Pityriasis Alba is a harmless, non-scarring and usually non-infectious affection, which responds slowly to treatment. The treatment consists of a nourishing diet, mild sunbathing, tonics, particularly vitamins, and the application of mild antiseptics like ammoniated mercury ointment, Bradex-vioform (P), bacitracin ointment etc. Application of a hydrocortisone or moisturizer helps the body to get rid of the patches faster. Treatment involves daily lubrication with a good moisturizer (such as Aquaphor), especially whenever the skin gets wet. Integument must be properly lubricated. Children should not play in the hot sun and cold winds.
Pityriasis Alba Treatment Tips
1. Use non-soap cleansers or moisturizing soaps.
2. Avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen.
3. Apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream sparingly for 37 days.
4. Certain lotions and moisturizers cream may help to improve the dry appearance.
5. The hydrocortisone cream may also help to make the patches go away more quickly.
6. Apply moisturizers such as petroleum jelly or fragrance-free ointments and creams.
7. The use of Pragmatar ointment, Lac-Hydrin, 2% Zetar in Cordran cream gives the effective results.
8. Pimecrolimus cream has also been reported to be effective.