What are the Causes of White Bumps and Spots on Skin in Children

White bumps can be seen in the skin of babies or even in young children. These can depict different conditions from harmless milia to a contagious disease known as Molluscum contagiosum. It is pretty easy to determine whether the spots are harmless or the result of a contagious condition.

White Bumps on Skin in Children

  • White bumps on the skin can be a milia.
  • Milias are small, harmless white bumps on the skin that appear on the nose, cheeks, chin, and rest of the body.
  • Milia closely resemble tiny whiteheads and are usually painless.
  • Infants are the most prone to develop milia.
  • Children and adults can also develop milia.
  • In adults, women have a higher occurrence of milia compared to men.
  • Milia is caused when dead skin cells get trapped under an outer layer of skin which forms a cyst.
  • Milia commonly occur when the skin isn’t able to exfoliate effectively.
  • Use of creams, lotions, cleansers and heavy moisturizers also cause milia.
  • Molluscum contagiosum is also another condition that produces pearly white or skin colored bumps.
  • Unlike milia, Molluscom contagiosum is caused by a self-limiting viral infection caused by a pox virus.
  • Molluscom contagiosum is transmitted through skin to skin contact or the use of fomites such as infected towels.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Often times the condition goes away on its own.


White Spots in Children

Spots can also appear on children’s skin. Spots can be darker in color or hyperpigmented or it can be lighter in color or hypopigmented. These hypopigmentation often occurs in spots or patches in children’s skin.

  • Pigmentation problems – hypopigmentation causes white spots on the skin.
  • Vitiligo – appears as white patches on the skin which progress as the child grows.
  • Nevus depigmentosus – often mistaken for vitiligo but differs because the white patches on the skin are stable and non progressive.
  • Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis – a genetic disorder caused by a disturbance in the skin’s pigmentation process.
  • White scars – some times scars after an injury can develop or leave white spots on the skin after it heals.
  • Pityriasis alba – also causes white spots that are dry and with fine scales. This develops mostly in the face and commonly affects children.
  • Tinea versicolor – whit spots caused by a fungal disease.
  • For proper treatment of white spots, it is best to consult the advice of a doctor.

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