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Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis

Contributors: Nkem Ugonabo MD, MPH, Callyn Iwuala MD, Oyetewa Oyerinde MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH) is a common acquired condition, characterized by scattered 3- to 5-mm hypopigmented macules occurring on chronically sun-exposed skin. IGH typically occurs in middle-aged individuals with photodamage and increases in incidence with age and continued sun exposure.

While the exact cause is unknown, IGH has been hypothesized to be ultraviolet (UV) induced. Other contributing factors that have been suggested include aging, trauma, genetic factors, and autoimmunity.

While IGH occurs more commonly in lighter skin phototypes, it does occur in all skin colors, and it appears more prominent in individuals with darker skin.


L81.9 – Disorder of pigmentation, unspecified

1717003 – Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis

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Last Reviewed:03/18/2020
Last Updated:03/22/2021
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Patient Information for Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis
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Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis : White color, Hypopigmented macules, Arms, Legs
Clinical image of Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis - imageId=2860340. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Numerous hypopigmented macules on the leg.'
Numerous hypopigmented macules on the leg.
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