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Pityriasis alba

Definition

Pityriasis alba is a common skin disorder similar to very mild eczema.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause is unknown but associated with eczema. The disorder is most common in children and adolescents -- particularly in children with dark skin.

Symptoms

Round or oval patches of skin appear on the face, upper arms, neck, and upper middle of the body. There may be flaky skin, called scales.

The patches don't tan, but may get red quickly in the sun.

Treatment

Symptoms are treated with moisturizers and mild topical steroid creams. The patches usually clear up, but may return.


Review Date: 5/13/2011
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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