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What is the reason for spots on my child's face?

Answered by: Dr. Bindu Dewan
Consulatant Dermatologist,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi

Q. My 8 year old son has developed some light spots on his skin on the face. This has happened in the last one week. While these spots are not prominent, but they are there and one can see circular areas (the size of a coin) where the skin has become a little lighter. Is this a sign of some deficiency or worms in the stomach? What is the best course of action to get rid of these? He is otherwise normal, though not a very good eater. He does not like vegetables and fruits, and has to be forced to eat them. Like most kids of his age, he is fond of junk food, colas, ice creams, etc. though we try to limit his consumption of these. His height is better than most of his peers, and his weight is slightly less than the ideal weight for his age and height.

A.  Pityriasis alba is a very common childhood problem. It is thought to be a mild allergic reaction of the skin due to changes in the environment (dry, cold/hot, humid) or changes in the bacterial/fungal counts on the skin. It is a self limiting disorder, which frequently needs no treatment. If wide-spread or very persistent-treatment is with topical application of a combination a mild steroid and antibiotic/antifungal.

A.  Pityriasis alba is a very common childhood problem. It is thought to be a mild allergic reaction of the skin due to changes in the environment (dry, cold/hot, humid) or changes in the bacterial/fungal counts on the skin. It is a self limiting disorder, which frequently needs no treatment. If wide-spread or very persistent-treatment is with topical application of a combination a mild steroid and antibiotic/antifungal.

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