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General Dermatology


Vitiligo refers to the development of white patches anywhere on the skin. With this condition, pigment-forming cells (known as melanocytes) are destroyed by the immune system causing the loss of pigmentation in the skin. Vitiligo usually develops between the ages of 10 and 40. It affects both men and women and appears to be hereditary.

When melanin, the dark pigment in the epidermis that gives your skin its normal color, is damaged, missing or not produced, the involved patch of skin stays white. If vitiligo occurs in more than one location, white patches develop in these areas as well. Exactly why vitiligo develops is unclear, but it appears to have a hereditary component and may have something to do with the immune system.


Although no known prevention or cure exists for vitiligo, certain treatments can even out the skin's tone and appearance including steroid creams and ultraviolet light therapy. Self-care may involve sunscreen use and the application of cosmetic camouflage cream.

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