Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: skin | pigment | vitiligo | eczema

My Skin is Losing Pigment

Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:32 AM

Question:
Dr.Hibberd, I like your column and think you offer very sensible advice. I’m wondering if you can help me with a strange problem. My skin seems to be losing pigment in some areas, such as my palms and elbows. I am Caucasian but the lack of pigment is unsightly. What is the cause?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Skin discoloration can be triggered by a number of causes. Sometimes a small area of skin becomes irritated or develops mild eczema, which results in a patch of skin that's lighter in pigment than is the skin around it. This is particularly common in children who have allergies, asthma or eczema. Another possible cause of a white patch on skin is a superficial yeast infection (tinea versicolor), which may cause the skin to look either lighter or darker than normal. Other skin diseases, including psoriasis and vitiligo, also may cause a light or white patch on skin or other discoloration.
You will have to consult a dermatologist (skin specialist) to determine what is causing the depigmentation of the skin. It is advisable for you to seek an early appointment so that treatment can be focused on the right condition, preventing spread/appearance of additional areas of loss of pigmentation in other parts of your body. Sometimes your doctor may have to take a small sample of your skin to establish the right diagnosis.

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Skin pigment loss can be trigger by a variety of factors.
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Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:32 AM
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