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September 1963

Studies on Pityriasis Alba: A Common Facial Skin Lesion in Egyptian Children

Author Affiliations


Faculty of Medicine Cairo University, Parasitology Department: (Dr. Bassaly, MB, BCh, DM, DTM and H, MD); U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (LCDR Miale); Vanderbilt University (Dr. Prasad).

Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(3):272-275. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590210030004

Clinical and laboratory studies were performed on 200 children and adolescents having facial skin lesions characteristic of pityriasis alba. Cultures of scrapings from 68 lesions grew common skin contaminants except in three cases where Trichophyton spadix was isolated. No bacteria or fungus could be implicated in the pathogenesis of this lesion. In the present group of patients, although clinical evidences of poor nutrition, mild anemia and parasitic infections, were commonly encountered, the difference between the patients and the control group was not remarkable. The lesion was prevalent in winter, virtually absent in summer, and was commonly observed in preadolescent school children in the present series. Topical applications of various ointments and oral vitamins resulted in variable and nonspecific responses. However, compared to an untreated group, there was a higher percentage of remission than would be expected without any treatment. The nonspecific nature of this lesion is reemphasized.

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