Pityriasis Alba

September 14, 2005
Alexander K. C. Leung, MD

The nonpruritic hypopigmented lesions on this 13-year-old girl's cheeks are characteristic of pityriasis alba, which typically occurs in children of both sexes between the ages of 3 and 16 years.

The nonpruritic hypopigmented lesions on this 13-year-old girl's cheeks are characteristic of pityriasis alba, which typically occurs in children of both sexes between the ages of 3 and 16 years. The lesions are generally limited to the face, especially the cheeks, and are more prominent and noticeable in dark-skinned persons. There is an increased incidence in patients with atopy. Pityriasis alba is distinguishable from vitiligo by virtue of its nondiscrete margins and the presence of some melanin on Wood's light examination.

Pityriasis alba is generally a self-limited condition that often lasts 2 to 3 years; the prognosis is good. The effectiveness of topical hydrocortisone or tar-paste treatment is variable.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  • Leung AKC, Feingold M. Pityriasis alba. Am J Dis Child. 1986;140:379-380.

  • Dhar S, Kanwar AJ, Dawn G. Pigmenting pityriasis alba. Pediatr Dermatol. 1995;12:197-198.

Related Content:

Skin Diseases