Pityriasis alba is a common skin complaint of children and young adults. It appears as pink scaly patches which later leave pale areas on the skin. These pale areas are more noticeable in people with dark skin, and more pronounced after exposure to the sun and the tanning of the non-affected skin. Pityriasis means skin scaling and alba means white.
The cause is unknown. It is thought to be due to a minor form of inflammation in the skin, related to eczema, but it can occur in people who have no history of eczema at all. It is not contagious.
The rash can be mildly itchy but usually causes no problems. Sometimes it can be dry. It often goes unnoticed when it first starts, but it is the loss of pigment that triggers people to seek medical advice.