White Patches On A Baby’s Cheeks Could Be Pityriasis Alba

Pityriasis alba spots are completely benign, similar to a mild form of eczema. They are most common in children with dry skin.

Question

I have a question about my 14-month-old. He is African American and has light blotches on his cheeks. After looking in a few books, it seems that he may have pityriasis alba. Is there anything I can do? I notice that when he wakes up the blotches are red. For now I just apply a few coats of Aquaphor to the area.

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

I bet your 14-month-old is adorable. White patches on the face at that age are quite common. Sounds like you’ve done your homework about them!

Pityriasis alba (which is Latin for white, scaly patches), is the most common cause. Children develop uneven round or oval patches, especially after sun exposure. The patches are dry with very fine scales. They are most common on the face (cheeks), neck, upper trunk, and upper arms of children 3 to 16 years old.

These are completely benign, similar to a mild form of eczema. They are most common in children with dry skin. The involved patches don’t darken with sun exposure the way the surrounding skin does. Treatment involves daily lubrication with a good moisturizer such as Aquaphor, especially whenever the skin gets wet. Sometimes mild topical steroid creams help (1% hydrocortisone).

Even with no treatment at all, the spots will disappear on their own — although it may take months to years. Some people get pityriasis alba every summer during childhood. Even then, the pigmentation will eventually end up normal.

If this doesn’t sound like your son, tinea versicolor is another common cause — though it is usually found in older children. This is similar to athlete’s foot and needs an antifungal medication or a selenium shampoo for treatment.

With either pityriasis alba or tinea versicolor, even when the condition is effectively treated, the white patches will remain for a while. At least several weeks must pass for the newly healthy skin to adjust its color to the amount of ongoing sunlight exposure so that it will match the surrounding skin.

At your son’s upcoming 15-month-old well child exam, it would be wise to ask the doctor about the patches, just to be sure what they are.

Medical Review on: June 29, 2014
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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My son is 6 yrs old, I recently started to notice white spots on his face(upper cheeks) I toke him to a doctor she said that it was a fungus without doing any test and recommended an anti-fungal cream for him but I don’t see it getting better. What should I do?

Your doctor was probably mostly sure and wanted to save you money by not testing. She will want to know if it’s working or not. I say, call the doctor and tell her it’s not getting better. If she doesn’t offer to do a skin scraping test, suggest that it might need a test to make sure it’s a fungus.

If it is fungus, it might need stronger medicine. If it’s not, it will need a different medicine.

I am a 35 year old woman. And I have small to medium size circle rashes on my body there are white. My dermatologist told me that it was eczema but I’m not for sure that is eczema because they’re is she a little bit but not at all really but they are all over my body arms legs stomach back and they come it takes usually a long time to go away but by the time one go away two or three more has come. I am looking for a different dermatologist to get a second opinion can you please help me

Hi Shameka,

Have you had the rash tested by a dermatologist? They can take a sample of the skin and look at it under a microscope to get a better idea of what it is.

I hope that helps.

Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of DrGreene.com, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

My 3 months old daughter was suffering from an extreme case of dry skin where the skin turned all dry and red with tiny bumps all over her body and face, Atopic Dermatitis is what the doctor mentioned. After applying an ointment prescribed by her, my baby’s skin started drying off and peeling by itself which afterwards turned white. As of now her body and face is filled with white patches.
Would you kindly mention as to whether the white patches will disappear and whether she will regain her natural color.

my baby is 4months old and she has a very light scar on her face what can i do plzzzzzz answer plzzzzz

My 3-month-old had a really red/dry/flakey patch on her cheek and we started using the foderma serum which helped a ton and then we used this for one day and her patch is almost all the way gone. We also use this serum on her torso and legs and it’s helped get rid of little bumps she was getting all over. Definitely recommend!!

Hi doctor, my son has a big white patch on his forehead right from birth. Can you please suggest if it’s a form of skin problem or nor

Hello doctor, my baby girl is going to 4 months and i have seen a white marks in her forehead.. What should i do?

Dear dr
My baby girl is 3 months now and having white spots in her chin, ear, around the eyes
Which seems bright than other places in face
Her pediatrition says that it is normal in winter and advised me to put (Dektacort) hydrocortisone cream
Is there anything serious to my baby
Whether it will be recover to normal skin colour
Please explain me doctor

Hi Andrea did you find out more about these?

My baby is going to be a month on this Friday and he has the same marks exactly where your baby has it going to a pediatrician tommrw to find out what can be donw

did u get your answer then reply me plzzz too same with my baby😭😭😭😭😭

my son 2.3 year have white paths in his ass and leg
Can know the reason

I think its a bathing soap try to change

My baby is three months old. She has a dry white patches. When consulted with doctor he adviced me to apply Lozee M cream. Can it be used for new born baby? Please advice

Dear doctor
My baby girl is 7months now and having white patches in her chin
Which seems bright than other places in face
Her pediatrition says that it is normal in winter and advised me to put hydrocortisone cream
Is there anything serious to my baby
Whether it will be recover to normal skin colour
Please explain me doctor

Hi my son was 3months old white patches on face like, chin, ears, cheks. Over there why it wil come I brothera?bout that plz help me

Dear Doctor,

Please, my daughter of 5 years plus suddenly having white spots on her chic, now it’s spreading all over her face.
What should I used for its remedy.

Hiee my son age two and half month baby boy has white patch on below left eye nd right cheek but it does not disappear plz tel me any prblm or nor

Hi doctor my baby just born means 3 months. But on his body white spot are Coming it’s no problem or something serious problem

Hello doctor,

I’m 17 year old and im having bright spot on my chick.It is also spreading bigger and bigger.Can you please suggest me any medicine

Hi doctor

My daughter is 2and half months now , now her skin some area have a some light red dry ptach it s slowly trunig to white patch ,it not gone.

Hi,
I have some problem with my 3 months baby. What did you get for solution for this problem
Thanks

My son is 10 years as he is having white spots on his face, due to dryness.is it the best cream or should I use hydrocortisone cream?

Muhammed,

Dr. Greene says, “Treatment involves daily lubrication with a good moisturizer (such as Aquaphor), especially whenever the skin gets wet.”

Best,
@MsGreene

Hello doctor. My son is 2 years and 3mos old. I’m worried because of his white patches on his shoulder down to his arms(both side) but its not itchy. But I notice that it getting multiple. I wonder how to treat this cause I don’t know if its serious case or what. Pls advise me wat to do. Thank you.

Hi Jennifer,

Check out Dr. Greene’s Q&A on white patches. There is a lot of great information that I think you’ll find helpful.

Best,
@MsGreene
Co-founder & Executive Producer DrGreene.com, Mom

My mixed race son who is 9 months has white patches on both cheeks of face can u tell me what it could be

Hi did yiu find out what was wrong i to have an mixed child she came out with dark skin like mines but she has white patches thats taking over her face

Hi doctor .My daughter is two months old and has light spots on the sides of her face kind of by the conner of her eyes to her upper cheek there’s no redness . . What is it will it go away on its own she is mixed race

Hi

My daughter has white spots to the corner of her right eye and in the chin. What should i do ?

Thanks

Hi sir.
My 6 month old daughter she have white spots on cheek and back side. We are from hyderabad I all ready consult the doctor I have applied this cream PLOFONE OINTMENT but still now it’s not cure.pls help me.

I have a two month old baby girl and she got white spots all over her face and i was given hydrocine 1% and it made it worse wat should i do now?

Hi Doctor,

My Daughter who is 6 years and 8 months has uneven white patches on the face especially on cheeks,nose and forehead.They are not itchy or scaly.
My wife is using 1% hydrocortisone regularly. But there is no improvement till date.

Can you please suggest alternative treatment.

Thank you,

Ajay

My 6 week old son has white blotches on his face. He is African American. I dont know what it is or where it could have came from but I can sure use some help.

Hi Sir,

Our son is 6 months old and has white spots around his mouth. We are using Spectro moisturizing cream and we hardly get a chance to expose to sun as we reside in a cold country. Could you please suggest the remedy for this. Please do let us know, if you want us to share the pics.
Thanks in advance.
-Srikanth

Hi,
My 6 months daughter also have same issue, white patches on around her mouth & chin, we initially thought its drooling rashes but it doesn’t look like rashes, its like fading the skin color to white patches and spreading very slowly, we are worried about. pls help us if you find any medicine for it.

Thanks,
Aneesh

my baby is 2 year old she got white patches on both cheeks is it common problem or pls give me any suggestion to Remove the patches.

Greetings,
Sir, my son is 5 months old and he has got red patch on his cheek which is rough to touch and also sometimes water comes out from the infected area. Please suggest what do I need to do for this..??
Many thanks….

Greetings!
Sir, I’m already 16 years of age and seems to me that these whit spots on my face is kinda decreasing my self-confidence. It started years ago when my family and I had this beach bonding. Since that day, white spots are appearing on my left cheek. I was actually around 8 or 9 years old at that time. With little knowledge, I appeared to let such thing pass by.
As the years went by, more and more spots are actually appearing on my right cheek. And Sir with such regrets, white spots are also appearing on my left cheek. In addition, my parents noticed that my skin is dry and it doesn’t glow like it was before.
I think it was just yesterday or this morning, that two spots appeared right beside my lips. And it is REALLY a big problem for me as a student and a teen.
I don’t want to cost my parents to pay such price on expensive products. I am actually reading articles about this kind of topic but still I am not someone to just follow steps that I am not even sure if it is applicable in my situation.

Sir, I thank you, for reading my message and call for advice.
I am hoping for you response. I am really sorry for my grammatical errors. I am not from any English speaking country (western countries).

Once again, thank you and God Bless!

sir my daughter has spots or white patches on right side of face and on forehead .
I m giving u photo to identify ,treatment was done but no benefit

My child is at age of 26th months she got white patches on both cheeks is it common problem or pls give me any suggestion to Remove the patches.

my baby is 2 year old she got white patches on both cheeks is it common problem or pls give me any suggestion to Remove the patches.

My 12 years old son has some white spots on his cheeks. Please suggest the treatment

Respected sir my son is 5years old .before six months he got a white spot on his chin .now a little spot appearing on cheeks. he already under treatment. But I am worried about that any other helpful tips for cure that plz.many thanks.

Hi doctor, i am from india and my daughter of 2.5 years old is having white patch near to her ear. Could you please guide us? I can send you the photograph, please let me know how to send it?

My daughter is 5 yr old she has white patches on her nack and sholder.its start appier on after summer .

I have one 1 month old daughter, 4days after birth one red color transparent spot appear on her right check near upper lips and it’s day by day become extended. In this view, could you please give some idea what to do? Looking forward for kind support in this matter.

Please response my request.

Hi, I have a baby of 6months old. She is has little white patches on her face. We consulted the GP and they said, “don’t expose baby’s face to direct sun”. Whats the solution for this?? We are using Johnson and Johnson baby oil aloe vera, n moisture cream. Please suggest the best.
Thank you

My child is at age of 14th months she got white patches beside the mouth is it common problem or pls give me any suggestion to Remove the patches

My child is at age of 14th months she got white patches on cheeks is it common problem or pls give me any suggestion to Remove the patches

My 2 1/2 year old has some white spots on her left foot that were not there previously. Is this something that I have to worry about it? What causes this and will it go away? It is on the ankle bone and across the top of the foot. Thanks in advance.

My doctor has given Desowen for my son, as he is having white spots on his face, due to dryness. Is it the best cream or should I use hydrocortisone cream?