Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why is my skin blotchy?"
There are white blotches of skin on my legs that I can't explain. I was out in the sun a lot this summer, could this have something to do with it? I just want it to go away!
I suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor who will be able to help you figure out what is going on. One possibility is that you have a skin infection with a fungus known as tinea versicolor. This fungus is known as the 'sun fungus' because it causes whitish patches on the skin that are more prominent when people have been outside in the sun, mostly because the unaffected areas of skin tan while the areas with the fungus remain white. If you have tinea versicolor, there are multiple medications, most of them topical lotions or creams, that can be used to clear up the infection, and your doctor will be able to make a recommendation. Another possibility, especially if you were sunburned this summer, is that these are areas of residual skin damage. After a sunburn or any other skin injury, the affected areas of skin often appear paler than the surrounding skin. This is caused post inflammatory hypopigmentation. Post inflammatory hypopigmentation doesn't require any treatment, and it tends to get better slowly over weeks to months. Start by seeing your primary care doctor or a dermatologist in order to get a diagnosis and decide whether treatment is needed.
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