There are several diseases that are frequently misdiagnosed as vitiligo. These include pityriasis alba and tinea versicolor. Pityriasis alba is a common condition found in young people. It appears as white patches on the upper arms and sometimes the thighs. Close examination shows an indistinct border and fine surface scale.
Tinea versicolor is another common condition caused by a yeast. It affects the chest and back. Patches have a fine scale on the surface. The color of the patches varies from pale white to orange brown. Some exposure accentuates the lesions of tinea versicolor.
Halo nevi or moles that develop a white border. One or several of these nevi may be present on the back of children.