April 1986

Picture of the Month

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(4):379-380. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140180113039

Denouement and Discussion 

Pityriasis Alba 

Manifestations  Pityriasis alba is characterized by hypopigmented, round or oval, dry, and scaling patches. The lesions are frequently limited to the face, especially the cheeks, although there can be involvement of the upper arms, back, and shoulders. The patches range in size from 0.5 to 3 cm, are pale pink or white, have indistinct margins, and, although they may be pruritic, are usually asymptomatic.Pityriasis alba occurs predominantly in children between the ages of 3 and 16 years, and both sexes are equally affected. The lesions are more prominent and noticeable in dark-skinned individuals. It occurs more frequently in atopic patients and during the spring and summer. The etiology is unknown. Histologic analysis of the lesion shows a nonspecific dermatitis.Pityriasis alba is distinguished from vitiligo by indiscrete margins and the presence of some melanin on Wood's lamp examination. Tinea versicolor is rare in childhood

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