White Marks on the Skin: What Causes them?

· December 29, 2015

White marks on the skin… Do you have them? Have you ever had them? During those summer days, for example, when tanning, it is common to see some not too pretty white marks to appear on one’s skin.

What causes them? They even sometimes appear on the back or on the face and on very young people. Where do they come from? What treatment should you follow? Today we will talk about this common reality, mentioning as always that with any doubt or problem, you should also see your doctor, or in this case, your dermatologist.

White Marks on the Skin: Tinea Versicolor

So called “tinea versicolor” is very frequent. But don’t worry, it is not serious and tends to go away. Tinea versicolor tends to manifest itself as white marks on the skin, especially in these areas:

  • Chest and back
  • Arms and legs
  • Areas that are normally out during the summer

They appear especially during the hotter times or right when fall begins. They generally appear on younger people because of sweating, hormonal changes, or humidity. As we said before, it is not dangerous, contagious, and is not painful. It is only the appearance of these not pretty white marks on the skin, which are resistant, and are not easily seen.

How Is Tinea Versicolor Treated?

Tinea versicolor is a type of fungus, and as such, requires treatment. As we said before, it tends to be effective, so don’t worry. In general, the following ones are used:

  • Anti-fungal medication like terbinafine or miconazole for example, which are great for treating the infection.
  • Another great resource are those called selenium sulphur shampoo. They go great and you just apply them to the affected area at night so that they have an effect. Then, take a good bath in the morning to remove it. That easy.
  • If you would like, a homemade remedy that can relieve the effects a little bit is aloe vera. Just apply the gel from the plant, do a small massage, and let it work for a couple of hours. Then, take a shower.
  • You should keep in mind that if after using these treatments for at least two weeks, you see that the marks are not going away, it’s best to see a dermatologist.

White Marks on the Skin: Vitiligo


Vitiligo is a more serious issue. It has the loss of a pigment as its essential origin: melanin. It is a problem of the immune system where there is an error, an error in which the body attacks and destroys a kind of cells: the melanocytes. Let’s take a look at the more relevant characteristics:

  • These white marks on the skin appear anywhere on the body. They can be big or small and come in any shape.
  • They don’t tend to cause discomfort, pain, itchiness, or irritation. They appear without any symptoms, but they do tend to be noticeable.
  • In general, they tend to be frequent in people that live in humid areas.
  • Sometimes these white marks can turn brown and flake slightly. That is when they start to bother you a little.

Is There Treatment for Vitiligo?

  • Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for vitiligo. This autoimmune disease has a genetic component often, and does not stop this destruction of melanocytes effectively and safely.
  • Sometimes, re-pigmentation is attempted with the use of steroids or immunomodulators, but does not always have results. Experts recommend using sunscreens (creams) to protect the hypo-pigmented areas from the sun’s rays.
  • In regards to natural remedies, there are a lot of people that resort to aloe vera, for example, and turmeric bandages and mustard oil to stop them from happening. Obviously white marks on the skin won’t disappear, but you can notice them a little less with consistency and also take care of your skin.

White Marks on the Skin: Nutritional Deficit


You should keep this in mind. Sometimes you have poor diets, which is why you suffer from significant shortages in vitamins and minerals. You have to be especially careful with the smaller ones and be careful that these kind of marks don’t appear. If you see them, it is worth seeing a doctor so that they can test you. It can be a clue to nutritional deficit:

  • Sometimes, white marks on your skin can be due to a shortage in calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, which gives way to the appearance of white marks on the skin. Never forget about those calcium rich foods! Remember that dairy products aren’t the only thing rich in this mineral. Vegetables are also abundant in this these essential nutrients for your skin and bone health.
  • Sometimes, white marks caused by malnutrition are inoffensive, but they could also indicate an imbalanced dietAlways see your doctor for advice.
  • Remember that there are a lot of dietary components to improve your skin’s health. On our behalf, we recommend improving your diet, to make it complete and balanced to prevent those small problems.