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Skin Care and Diseases

Discolored skin

06/26/2008

Question:

I`m a 36 year old African-American male. A white circle has shown up on my back. The area is not raised, not swollen, not itchy...just discolored. The size of the circle is about the size of a golf ball. Any idea what may have caused this & should I be concerned?

Answer:

White spots can be caused my many different things. Your description sounds like an asymptomatic round white smooth patch on the back (is it on the lower back or over the spine)? Also is the spot truly white (in which all pigment has been lost) or just slightly lighter colored than the rest of the skin?

If it is truly a white spot, a few possibilities include the condition of vitiligo (completely normal feeling skin with a loss of color), and less likely other rare conditions such as morphea (which would have a texture and firmness to it), or a "halo" mole that has lost it's color. If the spot is light in color but not true white, possibilities include a yeast infection of the skin, called tinea versicolor, a white patch after some type of trauma/abrasion/resolved rash, and some other rare conditions.

I would recommend you see a Board Certified Dermatologist for a full evaluation and accurate diagnosis.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati