Lighter or white patches on the skin are relatively common. While some may be cause for concern, most, especially those that aren't accompanied by other symptoms, are not. Even people without a history of skin conditions can experience white skin patches caused by dead skin cells or proteins trapped just under the top layer of skin. Depigmentation or color loss -- a loss of melanin -- can also cause this symptom.
Mild eczema shows up as itchy patches on the skin that are lighter in color than the surrounding areas. Although eczema generally looks like a scaly red rash, it can also present as pityriasis alba -- white itchy patches. Contact with an allergen can cause these itchy patches, as can a cold, dry winter. Many people with this condition notice itchier and more frequent white patches in the winter months.
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