Sudden white spots breakout on hands can be frustrating, especially because it may indicate a range of causes. Thus, paying attention to the symptoms and how it develops is crucial in determining the most suitable treatments and future prevention. Mild skin breakout can be treated at home, while severe one might need further medical examination.
White spots on arms from tinea versicolor
White spots on arms can be either cosmetic or medical changes to the skin, each of which has different symptoms and description. When related to cosmetic disorder of the skin, two most common triggers are tinea versicolor and vitiligo, although a series of other health issues may also be the risk factors.
Tinea versicolor affects almost 8% of the population. Most cases of tinea versicolor is caused by a fungus cited as Malassezia globosa, while some other yeast infection is caused by fungus called Malassezia furfur
These fungi normally reside on our skin without causing any harmful complications. However, certain conditions and anomaly may instead trigger the fungi to cause white rashes on skin and commonly affects the trunk and the limbs.
Tinea versicolor, in fact, is triggered by a variaety of potential risk factors, including hot and humid weather, oily skin, weakened immune system, excessive sweating, and hormonal changes. This skin disorder is common both in adults and young children. Some symptoms of tinea versicolor include oval lesions that are visible on skin, especially arms. These lesions are not greater than an inch in diameter, and may occur as milky white, tan, and pink in color. Eventually, especially when left untreated, these lesions may grow and merge into one another, forming bigger white patches on affected skin.
Spots caused by tinea versicolor may itch, although the itch stops when sweat reaches skin surface. These spots are also unique, as in light-skinned people, they are usually darker than the surrounding skintone. Hence, white spots are commonly diagnosed as a result of tinea versicolor in darker-skinned persons.
Common symptoms of tinea versicolor include itching, scaling, and dryness of the affected skin area. In most cases, tinea versicolor is benign and thus, does not lead to further complications. The affected area usually regains its original appearance within weeks or months.
Treating tinea versicolor
Since tinea versicolor is commonly triggered by fungi residing on the skin, anti-fungal creams or ointment may work significantly in reducing its appearance. This ointment will inhibit fungal growth and thus, the white patches on the arms. If you are suffering from more complicated tinea versicolor, you might be prescribed oral antifungal medications. This medications include ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole.
If you prefer more natural ingredients for your tinea versicolor white patches, on the other hand, tea tree oil works amazingly. This oil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that improve the breakout and its resulted effects.
White spots from vitiligo
Vitiligo is closely related to melanin production on your skin. Hence, when certain skin cells stop producing melanin, you might notice some white spots start to form on the skin surface. Melanin is the color pigment for the skin, hair, and eyes and thus, being lack of this pigment, you might likely to see white patches form. Hands are the most common body part to suffer from vitiligo-induced white spots, although it may also affect the knees and even the genitals.
Unlike tinea versicolor, vitiligo still has undefined causes. However, autoimmune diseases are researched to have a significant role in causing melanin production to stop. With this autoimmune disease, the immune system becomes overactive and destroys melanocytes—the cells producing melanin.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for vitiligo. In some cases, formed white patches go away on their own, without any specific treatments. However, in some others, these patches stay and will not entirely go away even with doctor’s prescriptions.
Vitiligo may be either mild or severe. With the mild one, white patches on your arms might not spread and do not grow bigger. Thus, you will not need to treat them specifically. Instead, camouflaging these patches is the best method required. A cover cream, foundation, or blemish cream that matches your skin will make the patches less visible.
If you are suffering from more severe vitiligo, on the other hand, some treatments are available, although they may not make the patches entirely disappear. The easiest treatment you can opt to is steroid creams. This cream may work for reducing the appearance of your spots of you only have a few of them. This cream is applied topically and can be bought with or without doctor’s prescription.
In addition to topical creams, light treatments can also be used to treat white patches on arms caused by vitiligo. However, the treatment can be time-consuming and expensive, as a couple of light treatments will be required to reduce the appearance of the occurring patches.