Q:

How do you restore pigment to white spots on the skin?

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Quick Answer

Methods of restoring skin pigment to white spots on the skin include cosmetics, corticosteroid creams, depigmentation of unaffected skin areas, re-pigmentation using UV light therapy, and skin grafting, reports WedMD. Skin color changes are cosmetic and usually do not affect physical health, according to MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

White spots on the skin are often caused by vitiligo, a skin condition in which melanin, the pigment that gives skin its characteristic color, is lost due to the destruction of pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes. There is no known way to prevent or cure vitiligo, states WebMD.

Several cover-up makeups and skin dyes can mask vitiligo, There are also lotions that bleach or lighten skin to even the skin tone surrounding discolored areas. An individual should ask his health care provider about recommended products, according to MedlinePlus. Corticosteroid creams can also be used to treat skin severely affected by vitiligo, reports WebMD. Permanent methods of improving the appearance of white spots on the skin, such as depigmentation of unaffected skin areas, re-pigmentation using UV light therapy, and skin grafting, are generally used only as a last resort in extreme cases when most of the body is affected.

Fungal infections, such as tinea versicolor, can also cause white patches to appear on the skin. Selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, and tolnaftate lotion can help treat tinea versicolor when applied daily to affected areas until discolored patches disappear, according to MedlinePlus.

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