What is it idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis?
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis is the name given to the 2 to 5 mm flat white spots found on the shins and forearms. "Idiopathic" means that the cause is unknown, "guttate" means that they resemble tears, and "hypomelanosis" refers to the lighter color of the affected areas.
Who gets guttate hypomelanosis?
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis predominantly affects light-skinned individuals, but may occasionally arise on darker skin. Although most often found on the shins and sun-exposed parts of the forearms, guttate hypomelanosis can also arise in other sun-exposed areas, such as the face, neck, and shoulders. White marks are generally smooth with a reduction in normal skin marks, but may be slightly scaly.
Guttate hypomelanosis appears as part of the aging process, becoming quite common in those over 40 years of age. They are more common in women than in men. Hereditary factors may be relevant since injuries appear to be more common in family members.
Guttate hypomelanosis of the chest
Guttate hypomelanosis of the lower leg
What is the cause of guttate hypomelanosis?
A skin biopsy proves that there is no melanin pigment at keratinocytes of guttate hypomelanosis lesions. There is also a reduction in the number of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) The skin is slightly thinner than normal and flattens.
The cause of guttate hypomelanosis is speculative. It is believed to be an inevitable part of the aging process, with a gradual reduction of the melanocytes, a process similar to the aging of hair. Other theories include:
- Sun damage: lesions are a kind of white freckle
- Not related to the sun seborrheic keratosis – degenerative scaly spots
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis does not appear to be due to trauma or viral infection. White areas do not predispose flay Cancer.
What is the treatment for guttate hypomelanosis?
In most cases, treatment for guttate hypomelanosis is not required as the marks are completely harmless. Attempts to destroy the lesions may leave larger brown markings or white markings, which may look worse than the original condition. Sun protection is very important.
The following measures can improve the appearance.
- Light cryotherapy
- Located superficial dermabrasion or microdermabrasion
- Pinch grafts normally pigmented skin
- Current steroids