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Definition of Pityriasis alba

Pityriasis alba: A mild form of eczema that occurs in young children and adolescents and produces mild patchy lightening and slight scaling of the skin of the face (particularly over the cheeks and around the mouth), the shoulders, or trunk.

The word "pityriasis" was used by the physician Hippocrates in ancient Greece to describe the scruffy appearance of the skin that looked like it was covered by the fine bran of grain called "pityron." "Alba" comes from the Latin "albus" meaning white.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11928
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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