Conditions That Cause Light Spots on the Face...

Pityriasis Alba

This condition is associated with white scaly patches of skin frequently on the face but it can also be located pretty much anywhere else on the body such as the arms, neck, chest or back.

It is most common in individuals with personal or family histories of allergies, hay fever or eczema.

It tends to show up more during the spring and fall seasons of the year.

Even though it is a type of eczema like condition most individuals have no itching or symptoms associated with the light patches.

Various topical medications are available for treatment.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dry, scaly patches can develop on the face, scalp or ears.

The dryness on the face tends to affect the eyebrows, creases by the nose, margins of the forehead, beard, moustache or chin areas. These dry areas frequently have light areas of skin color present as well.

Itching and flaking of the scalp is very common too.

A person can have involvement of the face only, scalp only, or ears, but many times all areas are active together.

The lighter skin can improve with treatment using anti-inflammatory creams or lotions.

Tinea Versicolor

This condition is a superficial fungal infection of the skin and has been referred to as “liver spots” for many years but has no direct association with anything connected to the liver.

While most common on the chest, back, shoulders, neck or arms the face can be involved as well.

A person will usually have dryness and scaling associated with these light spots as well.

Sometimes a fungal scraping is necessary to make a diagnosis.

Topical antifungal creams or lotions will usually clear the scaly rash up pretty quickly, but it can sometimes take several months after treatment for the skin color to even back out.

Iditopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis

White speckles dotted onto the skin occurs with this condition.

It is most common on the legs and can effect up to 70% of the population.

Some individuals develop facial lesions as well.

Many individuals with this diagnosis worry about having vitiligo, but they are totally different.

No treatment is currently available so reassurance is provided.


This condition usually causes a total loss of pigment which is also referred to as depigmentation. 

The severity can range from a small spot the size of a pencil eraser to near total involvement of the body.

Facial areas of whiter skin are pretty common with vitiligo.

One of the features of this condition is that the skin is usually smooth and normal in the effected areas. Symptoms such as itching or irritation are usually absent.

Many treatments are available and the choice of what to do depends upon the area of the body involved and extent of the pigment loss.

So that's an overview of several conditions that cause light spots.

Most of these conditions require a totally different approach for what to do.

Also the treatment that will help one can make another worse so it is important to make an accurate diagnosis before any treatment is started.

Correcting these types of conditions is also a part of having your skin look it's best.


The content provided in this article is for information purposes only and does not establish a patient-physician relationship. A patient-physician relationship can only be established by a face to face visit where a medical history and physical examination are performed. You must seek out the counsel of a medical professional to know what care is needed for your individual concerns.