A few years ago I noticed what resembled a white freckle had appeared on my leg. It looked like a tiny dot of brown skin had been completely removed. When a couple more dots began to appear, I asked an African American doctor about it. He assured me that it was nothing to worry about, just something that we (black people) sometimes get on our skin.
Since then a few more these minor discolorations have formed. It wasn't until earlier this year that a dermatologist informed me that this is actually a sign of sun damage.
The condition is known as idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, an acquired benign leukoderma that can appear on the shins and other parts of the legs, arms and other sun-exposed areas of the body. Though the exact cause is not known, theories link the condition to the normal aging process and long-term sun exposure. Yet another reason to use sunscreen year round!
Be sure to read White Age Spots for further information about idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis and possible treatments.
Photo: © Gerrie Summers