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A Patient’s Guide to Vitiligo

Jun 1, 2017

Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes a loss of pigmentation. Have you noticed white patches affecting your skin? If so, then your dermatologist may diagnose you with vitiligo. Please refer to this guide to learn more about this type of skin condition.


Vitiligo is often characterized by white patches of skin. This condition is not contagious, nor is it life-threatening. However, vitiligo can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem. While vitiligo typically affects the skin, the symptoms of this condition can develop on any part of the body that is pigmented, such as the eye or the inside of the mouth. Vitiligo occurs when cells that give skin and hair color, called melanocytes, die. Scientists aren’t sure what causes vitiligo, but some believe that autoimmune disease and nervous system function may be involved with certain types of the condition.


Vitiligo causes a loss of pigmentation that results in patches that are lighter in color or completely white compared to the surrounding area. This condition can affect the skin, genitals, eyes, hair, and the inside of the mouth, and the size of the affected tissue can grow over time. Commonly, people with vitiligo feel healthy and experience no signs or symptoms besides the depigmentation, while others report that the patches feel painful or itchy.

Risk Factors

Vitiligo affects millions of people, and more than half of these individuals develop symptoms before age 12. Also, vitiligo occurs about equally between men and women and in people of various races and skin colors. Suffering from an autoimmune condition or having a close blood relative with vitiligo increases a person’s risk for this condition.


The goal of vitiligo treatment is to restore lost pigment. Your dermatologist will recommend treatment based on your overall health, age, preferences, and the location of the vitiligo on your body. The cosmetics, topical medication, laser therapy, and PUVA light therapy are some of the options for managing and treating vitiligo.

Are you looking for a dermatologist in Arlington Heights? If so, then please call Arlington Dermatology at [company-phone id=1] to schedule your appointment.

woman with vitiligo