The skin is made up of cells called melanocytes, responsible for producing melanin: a substance that gives the dermis its color. When the skin contains little melanin, it is considered hypopigmented and, therefore, loses its color and appears white. This can occur in large, small areas or exclusively in certain body parts.
It is widespread that after the summer, when the skin is exposed for a long time to the sun, white spots appear on the legs that, although they do not represent an alarming symptom, indicate skin aging. In this FastlyHealarticle, we tell you the causes of white spots on the legs, how to eliminate them and how to prevent them.
What are white spots on the legs?
The white spots usually appear on the front of the legs and are scientifically known as idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis. The cause of the white spots on the legs is unknown. However, it is considered that they are nothing more than a sign of skin aging, which is why they do not represent any health problem beyond aesthetic inconveniences.
These spots are more common in women than men and usually appear after 40. In itself, the white spots on the legs are nothing more than a kind of mole or rosettes that do not exceed 6 millimeters in size, have delimited edges, can even appear on the extremities, and do not itch or hurt. Its color is porcelain white due to the lack of melanin in this specific dermis region.
Causes of white spots on the legs
The sun and the passing of the years play a fundamental role in appearing white spots on the legs. And it is that it has been proven that those people who, throughout their lives, have been significantly exposed to the sun’s rays without any protection are more likely to suffer white spots on their legs in old age. In addition, it has also been shown that the genetic factor influences, so if there are people with these spots in your family, it is very likely that when you step 40, you will begin to appreciate them as well. Why at 40? Because there is a decrease in the number of melanocyte cells in the skin at this age, facilitating hypopigmentation.
Some associate these spots with seborrheic keratosis, a benign skin tumor. However, it is essential to note that no evidence links white areas on the leg with an increased risk of complications or skin cancer.
Treatment of white spots on the legs
When observing the appearance of white spots on the legs, the first thing to do is to check with a dermatologist that it is idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis and not other complications related to skin pigmentation vitiligo, care, pityriasis, or tinea versicolor. Once other dermal pathologies have been ruled out, it is advisable to:
- Apply sunscreen with protection more significant than 30 SPF to the entire body every day to prevent the appearance of new white spots on the legs.
- Avoid sun exposure, especially in intense hours: from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Avoid hiding the appearance of white spots on the legs by tanning the dermis.
- There are cosmetic treatments such as dermabrasion that offer to improve the appearance of white spots on the skin. However, it is not proven that this technique eliminates the white drops. Similarly, before attempting any cosmetic therapy, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.