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What Is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo (pronounced vit-ill-EYE-go) is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes in the skin, the mucous membranes, and the retina are destroyed. Melanocytes are cells that make pigment. Mucous membranes are tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose and genital and rectal areas. The retina is the inner layer of the eyeball.

Vitiligo is characterized by white patches of skin appear on different areas of the body. The amount and size of white patches will vary. The hair that grows in areas affected by vitiligo are also white.

About 1 to 2 percent of the world's population have vitiligo. You cannot catch it from someone else. Vitiligo is not infectious.

Vilitigo is also called Leukoderma.

What Causes Vitiligo?

The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. However, vitiligo seems to be more common in people with hyperthyroidism, adrenocortical insufficiency, alopecia areata, and pernicious anemia.

What Are the Symptoms of Vitiligo?

The primary symptom of vitiligo is loss of skin color. Another symptom is hair that lacks color.

Can Vitiligo be Treated?

Yes. Treatment is a long process that may take between 6 to 18 months. Treatments will be tailored to meet the individual's needs.

Common treatments are:

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