Vitiligo refers to the development of white patches, loss of skin color, anywhere on the skin. With this condition, pigment-forming cells (known as melanocytes) are destroyed by the immune system, or stop functioning, causing the loss of pigmentation in the skin. It usually develops between the ages of 10 and 40. It affects both men and women and appears to be hereditary.
Vitiligo usually affects areas of skin that have been exposed to sun. It also appears in body folds, near moles or at the site of previous skin injury. Loss of skin color can affect any part of the body, including the mouth, hair, and eyes. It may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is permanent and there is no known cure or prevention. It’s difficult to predict how your disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of your skin. Rarely, the skin gets its color back. However, there are some treatments that can be used to improve the appearance of the skin, such as steroid creams and ultraviolet light therapy.