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Old 12-17-2002, 01:36 PM   #1
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Post white pigment spots on skin

This summer something weird has happened to my arms...(upper) and some on my forearms.... I developed these white patches - actually like no pigment in my skin. They are small spots....

I use a self-tanner all the time (not now!) and wonder if the chemicals in that may have caused this? I do have a few spots like that on my tanned (by the sun) shoulders. Has anyone experienced this and CAN it go away???

I am pale now so they aren't showing up as much excpet for the still tan areas on the tops of my shoulders that hasn't faded yet. I am about to call my dermatologist! I at first thought it was my self-tanner wearing off in patches! But no.... I don't know what it is!

Appeciate anyone who can tell me this is something normal??? Or can be fixed? It is NOT scaley or anything..just like my skin turned pale in spots.
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Old 12-18-2002, 05:56 AM   #2
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This is hypopigmentation (leukoderma), and is most likely caused by sun damage, or it has been inherited...definately not caused by the self-tanner.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do..abnormal white patches on the skin can be reduced by glycolic and alphy-hydroxy peels, or skin resurfacing. Using your self tanner will help conceal (like make-up)
I doubt there is anything a dermatologist will be able to do, but you could ask.
good luck
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:18 AM   #3
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It could also be the beginning of a condition called Vitiligo. Self tanners aggravate Vitiligo and can sometimes make it spread. Do a search on Vitiligo and see if its what your experiencing.I think you should see a Derm. because things are better if caught in the early stages.

 
Old 12-18-2002, 08:42 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your advice... no one has vitiligo in my family... I have noticed when I used to regularly tan, there would be a FEW little white spots that would show up...but nothing to worry about...but it is now on my upper arms... small spots...not HUGE spreading areas....thank goodness..

But you are right, I should see my derm anyway.

I have used the self-tanner in the summer to try and 'fill-in' the spots, but it didn't seem to help...I tried scubbing the ST off, thinking that it was the cause, just fading in weird spots before disappearing altogether. But guess NOT!

I did see products online that are supposed to bring back your color..but I take those as a bunch of hooey -I better see my derm.

happy holidays to you both!!!!
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Old 12-21-2002, 05:32 PM   #5
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Note that it can also be the sign of fungal infection, more specifically, systemic candida. It looks almost like naked freckles, about the same size, smooth, and getting darker only makes them whiter, they will not tan by sun or by artificial tanning products. They don't itch, they provide no symptom or sensation.

If they're shiny, it could also be psoriasis. Usually psoriasis comes on the hands, feet, knees, elbows, trunk,...and is silvery and appears in patches, but it CAN sometimes start off just by looking like random white dots which over time become shiny and silvery, and then they sort of "grow together" forming lines which become the patches.

 
Old 12-24-2002, 10:55 AM   #6
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All the above are true and should be evaluated. If there is any fine scale the possiblity of Tinea Versicolor is possible which is an overgrowth of fungus on the skin and easily treated....

 
Old 12-24-2002, 11:05 AM   #7
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I don't see any scaling at all - just looks like white freckles.... I started the Selsun treatment yesterday - will do it for 3-4 weeks...meanwhile I will make a derm appt. I don't know how you'd get a fungus anyway! Where does it come from?
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Old 12-27-2002, 12:43 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention that I have vitiligo. Over the years I have learned to cope with it. It started with a few tiny spots on my hand.There is a pretty good way to find out easily if its vitiligo. Go out and buy a black light. If the spots kinda glow under the light its probably Vitiligo. When I had my first derm. appointment to find out if I had this, this is what he did in his office. I was the first one in my family to ever get this. I hope this helps. Take care

 
Old 12-27-2002, 06:30 PM   #9
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I got the same thing this summer...it turned out to be tinea versicolor.... It started with white spots on my shoulders, then I started noticing some on my chest, back, and here and there. There wasnt any scaling in my case, and being tan makes them more easily visable. It is a "yeast" that all of us have on our bodies, but sometimes our bodies dont "take care" of it and it starts to spread. It causes your body to not pigment where it is "overactive". I am new to it too. I was on oral medication (four the first day then four 7 days later) and have been on selsun since. It has been about two months and I am slowly starting to notice the spots disappearing. They said it would take up to six months. Hope this helped.

 
Old 12-27-2002, 09:22 PM   #10
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Thank you! I don't feel so alone now! It is scary as I thought it was just my self tanner coming off in spots!!! DUH! Well I am using the selsun daily...smearing it on...for about 5 minutes then rinsing off. Will still make an appt with my derm after the 1st. I have never heard of such a thing and it is a PAIN to have to paint yourself.... but thanks! I HOPE that is all it is! I didn't know we all had this yeast!
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:51 AM   #11
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I have a similar prob - white spots on my lower arm and lower legs. I think I have idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis - do a search and see if it matches your prob. I have also had tinea versicolor in the past, but those spots were more blurry-edged and disappeared after treatment, but these are more clearly defined and dont fade. It is annoying, as I really like to get tanned legs, but the tan makes the spots stand out more. I read somewhere that topical steroids or dermabrasion can help - anyone know more about this???

 
Old 01-02-2003, 06:24 AM   #12
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I have a problem with white spots on my chin, jawline, shoulders, upper back, and chest. I've seen several dermatologists, but none helped me at all. Each one of them said mine were acne scars. I've never seen anyone else with acne scars like that, have you? My spots are exactly like you described - no pigment. It's really weird. At least yours aren't on your face. It's kind of hard to cover with makeup.

 
Old 01-02-2003, 06:59 AM   #13
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Hi there... I am making a derm appt today - don't know when I will be able to get in - but have been using the selsun for about a week now...have not missed a day. As for acne scars being white, my husband had some on his neck and I remember they were whitish. Made him look rugged Not so good on a woman though, eh?

Oh well, the things our skin puts us through! I just hope my problem is a fungus though that sounds so nasty! I never knew we had fungus on our skins at all!

will post my results though it may be a few weeks time. Appreciate all this advice! happy new year!!!
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Old 01-14-2003, 01:19 PM   #14
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I finally got to my derm yesterday. He said what I had was not tinea versicolr....but he mumbled something close to idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis - I THINK! He was very abrupt and not into listening to my questions!!! said this was not gonna go away...etc. And I immediately thought - why bother asking - and will continue to do my own research.

I heard him say the 'melanosis' part so I am assuming that what he meant. I decided the man at 60 yrs old is NOT up on the latest in skin care! He would not recommend a good fade cream for me (for another problem I have), said they do not work.

So i felt the visit was not very informative. "You have blah blah blah and get used to it!!!"

He just likes to shoot me with the liquid nitrogen.

so I will continue my research and try what every you all suggest!!! These are uneven spots too. Not shiny. I did use selsun for about 3 weeks. Figured that was enough.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:44 AM   #15
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Re: white pigment spots on skin

Has anything worked so far? I have the same thing and desparate for answers. Does cryotherapy work?

 
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