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June 1961

Pityriasis Alba: A Form of Atopic Dermatitis: A Preliminary Report

Author Affiliations


From the U.S. Naval Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(6):915-919. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580120027005

Pityriasis alba was first described by Fox in 1923, 1924, and 1925.1-3 He was unable to account for its pathogenesis, and it remained unnamed for many years. Discussions of the condition have appeared subsequently in the literature, and descriptive titles have been numerous. The current appelation, that used by O'Farrel4 and by Wells et al.5 in their recent review of this subject, is suitable from a morphological standpoint.

Pityriasis alba is characterized by superficial, lightly scaling areas of depigmentation, circinate or ovate in shape in most instances, although some may have irregular borders. The borders are quite distinct, particularly if the achromia occurs in deeply pigmented skin. They vary in size from 0.5 to 6 cm. in diameter, and in color from ivory to light pink. Most authors agree that the face is the site of predilection, but involvement of other areas of the body is often