Vitiligo: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, MD

Vitiligo is a disease of skin where the color of the skin becomes white and form white patches. The discolored part of the skin gets bigger with time and it looks odd. This condition can be with any part of the body and can cover all the body including hairs and internal parts of the mouth.

Causes of Vitiligo

Our skin color is decided by the melanin as melanin is a determinant of skin color. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that make melanin are died or stop making melanin. Our skin made several small pigments with the help of melanin and decides the color of the skin.

It is unclear that why vitiligo occurs but in some studies it is found that due to autoimmune disease our cells are killed by themselves. The treatment of this condition can be control with the help of medicines but no permanent treatment of vitiligo is present now. All races are equally affected by this condition but mostly black or dark skin people are in majority.

Photo by Armin Rimoldi on

Symptoms of Vitiligo

Vitiligo signs and symptoms Includes:

Loss of skin color in the patchy form usually starts from hands, face, and genitals.

Whitening of hairs and scalp including eyelashes, eyebrows, and ears.

Loss of internal parts of nose and mouth colors e.g. mucous.

Vitiligo Diagnosis

Your doctor may confirm your diagnosis while physical examination of your affected parts and especially no tests required to confirm the diagnosis. Although lab tests are available to confirm the diagnosis as your doctor may send the skin of your vitiligo-affected area.

Treatment of Vitiligo

Although, there is no permanent cure for vitiligo you can improve the condition of your vitiligo by applying the creams. The best option for a vitiligo cure is to use corticosteroid creams which can be used to mitigate the effects of vitiligo. If the disease is progressing rapidly, your doctor may prescribe oral or injectable forms of corticosteroids.

The results of medications and therapy are very unpredictable as results do not guarantee 100 percent cure. Sometimes due to side effects of medicines as well as therapies used to treat the vitiligo put a very negative impact on the skin and resulted in scars.

Therapies for Vitiligo

There are few therapy available to slow or stop the progression of vitiligo. These are photo therapy, light therapy using UVA light to stop the progression of the disease. Your doctor may use special equipment and focus on your affected area with light. This session may lasts for months after several intervals. Usually, 2-3 times in a week. Now a days, portable light therapies launched in the market so that you can do this at your home also.

For prevention from the vitiligo, you must have to avoid direct sun light on the affected parts as well as dont use any creams or medications without the prescription form the doctor. You must have to consult dermatologist before start any medicines.

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