Unfortunately, white sun spots (idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis), commonly found on the arms and legs, is not, to my knowledge, correctable. This condition, in which the pigment-producing cells of the skin (melanocytes) are essentially "burned out", occurs as a result of sun exposure. This is quite common in men and women over 50, especially those who have a great deal of sun exposure from outdoor sports and work. This is the opposite of dark sun spots which, through various means, can be lightened. The best approach to dealing with white spots is to avoid unprotected sun exposure, wear long pants and sleeves and use a high SPF (50+) sunscreen when you are in the sun.
How Can I Remove White Sun Spots?
Doctor Answers 9
Removal of White Sun Spots from Arms and Legs Not Likely
Improving white spots from the sun.
Although it is impossible to remove the "white spots" that result from excessive sun exposure over the years, it is sometimes possible to camouflage them by improving the dark areas that surround them. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) also called the Photofacial, can be used on the face, chest, back of hands and arms to treat the entire sun damaged area. This fades the darkened background color of the area, making the white spots blend in much better. Sun protection before and after the procedures is imperative for safe and effective treatments.
Hope that helps!
Madeline Kraus, M.D.
How Can I Remove White Sun Spots?
Thank you for your question. Hypopigmentation from sun damage is challenging to treat. I would recommend consulting with a Board Certified Dermatologist for safest and best treatment options. I hope this helps.
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White spots from the sun
White spots on the skin can be many things - several of them are mentioned above (tinea versicolor, seborrheic keratoses, vitiligo, etc). The sun can cause darkening of the skin (freckles or lentigines) as well as lightening of the skin. These white spots, or loss of pigment, are called idiopathic hypomelanosis. Although they cannot be reversed, using sunscreen is important to prevent further damage. A board certified dermatologist can evaluate the spots.
White spots on the arms and legs
Treating white sun spots
First, make sure to be evaluated by a dermatologist to assess whether you have a skin fungus called tinea versicolor. If the white spots are predominantly on the shins and forearms, then you have idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis which is a type of sun damage and is not correctable.
Treatment of white sun spots
It is very important to be evaluated by a board certified dermatologist to have a diagnosis rendered for the "white sun spots." There are many clinical entities which may appear as "white sun spots" ranging from macular hypopigmented seborrheic keratoses to idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis. The former can be treated with liquid nitrogen whereas sun protection is necessary for the latter.
White sun spots
White sun spots need to be diagnosed by your dermatologist.
White sun spots may be a yeast infection called tinea versicolor or keratoses or burned out cells etc... See your derm doc and they will fix you up. sincerely,
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