Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why do I have light spots all over my back?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have light spots all over my back?


They do not provide any discomfort. However, I need to know what triggered it and is it serious? I'm not sure exactly when they arose. I notice it today. Also I wash my back daily using bodywash . And I don't think have sensitive skin. Please Help


There are several potential causes of these light spots on your back. You will need to see your primary care doctor, or your dermatologist, in order to have a formal diagnosis, however. One possibility is that this is a fungal infection. There is a type of fungus called tinea versicolor (commonly called "sun fungus") that very commonly infects the skin of the back and chest. The symptoms are irregular patches of light colored skin, which sometimes may appear a bit dry or itch, although often they are completely asymptomatic. Fortunately, tinea versicolor is very easy to treat with several different anti fungal medications, which your doctor can prescribe for you if they diagnose this condition. Another possibility is that this is some sort of skin allergy or eczema. This would be especially the case if the spots are reddened or irritated or if they itch quite a bit. The treatment for allergies and eczema are, fortunately, also very effective and straight forward. However, they are quite different than the treatments for fungal infections of the skin, which is one of the primary reasons that it is important to have your doctor take a look at this and make a formal diagnosis.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.