Why Does Tanning Bring Out White Spots on My Skin?

The Short Answer from a dermatologist

Why Does Tanning Bring Out White Spots on My Skin?

Q: Tanning brings out white spots on my skin. Should I worry?


A:
Your condition has a long name with lots of syllables: idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis.

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It causes little white areas to appear on skin that is exposed to the sun. Thus, the face, neck, hands and arms are most often affected.

People with different skin types develop idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis. Most do so in their 40s or 50s.

While there are no effective treatments for this condition, I would not worry. It’s simply the nature of your skin to react to sun in this way.

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That said, I strongly advise you to use sunscreen. It will prevent premature aging of your skin and, more importantly, skin cancer.

Dermatologist Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD

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