Saturday, January 2

Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis - white spots - causes - symptoms - diagnosis

The causes for Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis are not exactly known but for its treatment and cure, differential diagnosis has to be done to exclude similar looking disorders.
The exact causes for the appearance of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis white spots are still under investigation.

Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis causes

As these white spots appear on the exposed parts of the body it presumed that the exposure to sunlight could be the cause for their appearance.
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis appear on most exposed parts of the body like the shin, forearms, shoulders and neck indicating that sun exposure as the likely cause of their appearance.
These white spots appear in the late twenties in some cases but their prevalence is from the early thirties onwards; the concurrent reason could be due the aging process.
In young children and adolescents these white spots are very rarely seen; another indication that the aging process and sun exposure are the main causes.
One of the reason is being light-skinned as these hypomelanosis lesions are rarely seen in darker skinned individuals.
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis causes white spots in more number of women than men in the thirties and later on both the genders get equally affected.
In some cases the disorder seem to run in families genetic tendency and inheritance seemed to be one of the causes for these white spots.

Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis symptoms

  • The macules are small in size usually between 2 to 5 mm; one of the important symptoms.
  • In very rare instances size up to 10 mm is encountered.
  • The lesions are flat and are discrete, circular, oval or angular in shape.
  • They usually affect light-skinned individuals; another important symptom.
  • They appear on the sun exposed parts.
  • Hypomelanosis macules usually appear first on the legs.

Differential diagnosis of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis

  • The macules first appear on the legs and later on forearms. Diagnosis: excludes flat warts, Pityriasis alba and pityriasis versicolor.
  • These white spots are discrete and do not show darker border. The lesions are small in size and in very rare cases may reach a diameter of 10 mm. Diagnosis: excludes vitiligo.
  • The lesions do not lose sensitivity. Diagnosis: excludes leprosy lesions.
In rare instances histological studies are required for the diagnosis of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis white spots.
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