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White patches are a skin condition in which the skin looks like it is peeling. This may be due to some allergy or reaction or any medications that you are using. Along with white patches, there also might be itching and inflammation of the skin. People with psoriasis, vitiligo, fungal infections, allergies, etc., have increased chances of developing this problem. It can occur at any age after puberty but is primarily seen in adults. There are many causes for the development of white patches on the skin; medication is mainly considered one. Drug reaction is an important cause that could lead to this condition.
Which medicines can cause white patches?
- The medicines that most commonly cause side effects like this include antibiotics (Tetracycline), antifungal creams. White patches are a common side effect of several drugs, including medications containing corticosteroids and antihistamines. White patches have been reported to manifest themselves in connection with using a variety of over-the-counter remedies as well. These remedies include various acne treatments, sunscreens, insect repellents, and hemorrhoid ointments.
- In all cases involving skin reactions to over-the-counter medications, it is always best to check with your doctor before using another medication or cream that could potentially cause a reaction. In this regard, white patches may be indicative that an allergy exists that requires further treatment. A dermatologist should evaluate White patches to determine the appropriate course of action for treatment based on their exact cause.
- In conclusion, it should be known that white patches are a side effect of any medications, but it is an uncommon reaction to drugs. If you notice these symptoms, consult your doctor and avoid using another medicine or cream that could cause a reaction. White patches usually go away on their own after some time without leaving any scars.
- There are many treatments available for this condition which varies from person to person. The therapy also depends on the cause of the problem and the individual’s skin type. The severity of the white patches can vary from a minor rash-like appearance to a chronic one which may leave permanent scars.
How can medications cause white patches?
Medications and other triggers that can lead to white patches include:
Steroid creams: Psoriasis, eczema, and some skin conditions may be treated with steroid cream. However, long-term use of these creams causes the skin to thin and reduces its natural protection against harmful UV rays. This results in side effects such as redness, peeling and blistering. Some people get white patches on areas where they have used steroid cream for a long time. It is generally not known why this happens, but it is said that it might be due to an infection that has been caused by bacteria or fungus.
Antibiotics: Antibiotic medications can cause side effects such as inflammation, dry skin, etc. White patches of skin are one of the common side effects of antibiotics. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that can cause white patches on the nails, mouth sores, or tongue.
Tricyclic antidepressants: These are often used to treat depression. However, they have many side effects, including dry skin and white patches.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are pain killers available over the counter in most countries. They may also cause peeling, drying, or blistering the skin, mainly when continuously used for more than three days. Some people get this problem due to allergies to these medications. Therefore, it is best to stop using them if you notice any symptoms on your skin after taking these medications.
Anti-malarial drugs: Medication to prevent malaria is another crucial cause of white patches on the skin. Medicines that are usually used for this purpose include Chloroquine, proguanil, and Quinacrine. These drugs may also cause nausea, vomiting, headache, or dizziness.
How to prevent patches caused by medications?
- Always consult with your doctor before starting any new medication or cream, even if it is over-the-counter.
- Wear good quality sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun.
- People who have psoriasis should avoid smoking, drink alcohol, and lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Use appropriate treatments according to your skin type.
- Do not use any cream without the advice of your dermatologist.
- Avoid scrubbing or scratching of patches as it can lead to permanent scarring.
- Try to avoid situations that cause stress and anxiety, which might flare up this condition even more.
- If you have diabetes, keep reasonable control over your sugars levels as poorly controlled diabetes has been associated with increased severity of psoriasis, including its associated side effects like psoriatic arthritis.
- Keep a healthy diet plan that contains more green leafy vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
- If you are using steroidal creams, apply them as your doctor prescribed for a limited period.
- Never stop any medications without consulting your doctor even if you feel better because stopping the medication suddenly can make this condition worse or lead to recurrences.
What are the other reasons which can cause white patches?
- If you are suffering from vitiligo, you will have these patches all over your body.
- Melasma is another condition that can result in white patches on the skin; this condition is also known as chloasma. It usually begins with one or more areas of darkened skin, especially on the face. During pregnancy, however, melasma often appears elsewhere on the body. Sometimes it disappears after childbirth but can last for years or be permanent.
- White spots may occur in people who have xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). This rare inherited (genetic) disorder makes people extremely sensitive to even small amounts of sunlight. As a result, their skin becomes sunburned very quickly, and they tend to get premature skin aging. The skin also becomes extraordinarily wrinkled and develops many small, light-colored spots, especially on the face and backs of the hands.
- White patches may occur if you have pityriasis alba. This condition usually clears up by itself without treatment within a few years. It tends to recur in hot weather and often occurs after a sunburn or prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- White patches may also appear with various forms of eczema, including nummular, discoid and subacute, to determine the appropriate course of action for treatment based on its exact cause.
In conclusion, it should be known that white patches are a side effect of any medications, but it is an uncommon reaction to drugs. If you notice these symptoms, consult your doctor and avoid using another medicine or cream that could cause a reaction. White patches usually go away on their own after some time without leaving any scars.
What is the treatment available for white patches?
Many conditions can cause these patches, but depending on their exact cause, the doctor will recommend the treatment accordingly.
- Antibiotic creams like Tetracycline and Clindamycin may be prescribed to treat cases caused by bacterial infections.
- Retinoids, topical Vitamin A products can be prescribed when there is swelling and redness around the affected area.
- Steroids like Fluocinonide might be recommended to reduce the inflammation related to such patches, usually applied twice daily for two weeks or until symptoms improve; then, the dosage will be lowered.
- For cases where it is caused by psoriasis, corticosteroid injections can get rid of the patches; however, this treatment may cause side effects like thinning of the skin if used for long periods.
- Creams containing Vitamin D3 can be applied to remove these white patches.
- Light Therapy can also help to reduce these patches by exposing the skin to intense light.
- For cases where there is some pigment loss, topical creams containing Hydroquinone can be used for four weeks to reduce the white patches gradually.
- Laser surgery might be recommended to get rid of these white patches, but it does not always offer permanent results and often needs repeated treatments.
If you think white patches are a side effect of any medications, first you should consult your doctor. If it is not a side effect and persists, we recommend visiting a dermatologist to diagnose the cause and treat it accordingly.
Natural remedies that can help to reduce white patches
- Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E oil contains antioxidants that can help protect your skin against sun damage and reduce inflammation caused by allergies; therefore, it helps reduce the severity of white patches. Vitamin E Oil should be applied directly to the affected areas two times daily over around three months.
- Local honeyhas anti-inflammatory properties, which effectively reduce the inflammation and irritation caused by such patches. Mixed with cinnamon powder, it can reduce even stubborn white patches on the skin. Mix equal amounts of fresh local honey and cinnamon powder and apply this paste over the affected areas two times daily for about 5-6 weeks to get rid of white patches.
- Glycolic acid:Glycolic acid removes dead skin cells and exfoliates the skin, which helps reduce white patches on your skin. This chemical peel also reduces melanin production, which is why it removes age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Mix one part glycolic acid cream with two parts rose water or green tea extract, rub this mixture in a circular motion around the patchy areas until a mild tingling sensation is felt. Then wash it off with lukewarm water after 10-15 minutes and repeat two times a week for best results.
- Apple cider vinegar:Apple cider vinegar contains alpha hydroxyl acids which help in peeling away dead skin from the affected areas, which helps in reducing white patches. It also restores the pH balance of your skin, thus preventing further damage caused by infections and preventing dark spots from developing. The acidic property of apple cider vinegar can help lighten scars, freckles, sunburns, pregnancy masks, melasma, etc. Mix 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey. Apply this mixture over the affected area using cotton balls or tissue papers two times daily for four weeks to see noticeable results.
- Sunflower oil:Sunflower oil is beneficial in treating white patches. It contains Vitamin E and other antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals and help reduce the appearance of these ugly patches on your skin. Massage using a mix of sunflower oil and rose water over the affected area 2 times daily for about four weeks to get rid of white patches.
- Tea tree oil:Tea tree oil also works as an antiseptic that helps fight the infection that may worsen white patches. You can use tea tree oil alone or mix it with coconut or neem oil and apply it over the affected areas 2-3 times daily for best results.
- Lavender essential oil:Lavender essential oils contain antiseptics that help fight off infection and be analgesic in nature so that they can reduce the pain and itching caused by white patches. The lavender essential oil can be diluted with coconut or olive oil and applied over the affected areas 2-3 times a day.
- Castor oil:Castor oil contains antifungal properties that prevent infections from worsening white patches. Mix castor oil with almond oil and apply this mixture over the affected area using cotton balls or tissue paper. Reapply after every 6 hours for quick results.
- Homeopathic treatment: Homeopathic treatment for white patches is also is very effective. As it not only helps in lightening them but also prevents new spots from developing when used regularly. Homeopathic medicine also does not cause any side effects. Please consult an experienced homeopathic doctor if you are looking for treatment for the white patch. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy for more information!