Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment.
The patches of skin affected become white and usually have sharp margins.
The hair from the skin may also become white.
The inside of the mouth and nose may also be involved.
Typically both sides of the body are affected.
Often the patches begin on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun.
It is more noticeable in people with dark skin.
Vitiligo may result in psychological stress and those affected may be stigmatized.
Normally, the color of hair and skin is determined by melanin.
Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning.
Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin.
The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself.
Treatment for vitiligo may restore color to the affected skin. But it does not prevent continued loss of skin color or a recurrence.
(also known as bilateral vitiligo, vitiligo vulgaris, and generalized vitiligo).
This is the most common type of vitiligo and results in white patches appearing on both sides of the body.
Usually it starts near the hands, around the eyes or mouth,
on the feet, or in an area of the body where the skin rubs together frequently.
With nonsegmental vitiligo, color loss comes in spurts over the course of one’s life,
spreading and becoming more noticeable as time goes on.
(also known as unilateral vitiligo)
This type of vitiligo usually starts when a person is young.
It generally progresses for a year or so before it stops.
Segmental vitiligo appears in one area (or segment, hence the name) of the body,
such as on one arm or one leg.
In about 50 percent of cases, it’s accompanied by color changes in the hair, eyebrows, or eyelashes.
Segmental vitiligo is less common than nonsegmental vitiligo and affects about 1 in 10 vitiligo patients.