Vitiligo is a common disorder of skin pigmentation, affecting between 0.5 – 1 percent of the population worldwide. 2.5 % of the population in India suffers from vitiligo
Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses its ability to make the pigment called melanin. It is considered a long term, autoimmune condition in which our body starts producing antibodies against its own pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. It presents as white/ depigmented patches anywhere on the skin- face, trunk, hands and feet. It can also affect our hair and lead to whitening of hair of scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. It can occur at any age, but usually before the age of 30 years. The course of the disease is long and difficult to predict. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, it progresses over time to larger areas of skin. Occasionally, the skin gets its colour back.

Associated conditions –

Can run in families/hereditary

Stress, Thyroid, low Vitamin B12, alopecia aerata, diabetes

Impact on quality of life: 

It is a major cause of psychological stress and depression among patients and their family members. 

There are several misconceptions about vitiligo.

1. Myth- Vitiligo is contagious or infectious.

Fact- vitiligo is not an infection and does not spread through contact or neither through air, food or water. 

1. Myth- Vitiligo is associated with leprosy

Fact- Vitiligo is not associated with leprosy.

Treatment depends on the extent and severity of the condition.
The treatment aims to stop the progression of the disease and bring back the colour of the white patches. Treatment is possible if detected early.
Proper counselling of the patient and his/her family members should be done.
Vitiligo can be managed by medical treatment which includes oral, topical and phototherapy.
Apart from this, vitiligo surgeries offer very significant results in bringing back skin colour.


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