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August 1960

Pityriasis Alba: A Ten-Year Survey and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

Fellow in Dermatology, on assignment from the U.S. Army (Dr. Wells), and Fellow in Dermatology (Dr. Whyte), Mayo Foundation; Section of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation (Dr. Kierland).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(2):183-189. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580020025003

So-called pityriasis alba is not a new condition. For years articles and reports of cases have appeared in dermatologic journals and texts describing superficial, scaling, nummular lesions with residual hypopigmentation, occurring principally on the faces of children. Various descriptive names have been used: pityriasis streptogenes, pityriasis corporis, pityriasis simplex faciei, erythema streptogenes, impetigo furfuracia, chronic impetigo, achromia parasitaria, pityriasis sicca faciei, dartre volante, achromatous pityriasis faciei, pityriasis alba faciei, and pityriasis alba. The earliest description in the American literature is a group of cases presented by Fox1-3 in 1923, 1924, and 1925. He was unable to account for the condition or to give it a name. From clinical descriptions, it would seem that all of the reported cases refer to the same condition or variations of the same condition which O'Farrell,4 the most recent author on the subject, prefers to call "pityriasis alba." Clinically, pityriasis alba is characterized

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