Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis means a very common pigmentation disorder, as defined by the scientific literature. It is a very common skin disease that is also scientifically defined with the name of disseminated lenticular leukoderma or guttate leukoderma.
Its characteristic is the presence of many tiny hypo-pigmented spots in the shape of multiple confetti, with a fairly low color tone of melanin.
They are usually located in the limbs mostly in adult individuals, explains Dr. Marina Fantato. As we will see later in this article, there are differences between guttate hypomelanosis and vitiligo. But let’s proceed in order.
Guttate hypomelanosis as the pigmentations present themselves
The pigmentations of guttate hypomelanosis appear as hundreds of fairly small spots with a diameter of 2/5 mm. They are mostly located on the anterior and posterior surface of the legs and on the forearms.
The first difference with vitiligo can already be seen. The lesions appear, as mentioned, scattered like confetti and are totally asymptomatic. This is one of the differences with Vitiligo. The spots are permanent, obviously the diagnostics require a very careful examination with observation in Wood’s light (a light also used in photography).
It is possible to see them very well in the summer because the patients are more tanned and therefore the contrast with the lighter spots stands out. Guttate hypomelanosis unlike vitiligo represents an acquired form of hypo-pigmentation and, in fact, many people have some of these lesions.
The causes of guttate leukoderma
Guttate hypomelanosis causes: as Dr. Fantato points out, the actual causes of this skin disease are not yet well known.
Speaking of Vitiligo
Vitiligo, on the other hand, as we have extensively discussed on our thematic site, has a clinical manifestation with patches that are mostly hypo-pigmented or chromed, that is, devoid of pigment (lack of melanin).
They may vary in size, but are generally very large patches. They can usually be located on the limbs, but not only. We can find them in any point of the skin surface according to the cases and the patients.
Although it is an acquired pigmentation disorder, it has a pathogenesis that usually involves a genetic predisposition.
Lack of melanin in vitiligo
The spots, as we have said, are patchy and can reach very large sizes. Unlike idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, as we can find them all over the body.
Unlike what you might think, they are not completely asymptomatic, but they could also make you feel itchy.
Guttate hypomelanosis histological differences with Vitiligo
As for guttate hypomelanosis, melanocytes are present in the lesions. However, it could be that the number of melanosomes (intracellular structures) that contain the melanin synthesized by melanocytes are reduced and that the transfer is impeded.
Unlike vitiligo where we know that melanocytes can also be absent in the lesions or malfunctioning. There are disorders concerning the multiplication and migration of melanocytes.
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis therapy
Finally, concludes Dr. Fantato, with regard to the topic of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis remedies, we know that micro-phototherapy is the most specific and most suitable treatment. This is because it allows you to treat, in a targeted manner, even very small patches with a lack of pigment.