Vitiligo is a skin condition involving a loss of melanin that occurs when the cells that produce this substance die or malfunction, resulting in increasing areas of depigmentation on the skin and hair. The specific cause of this condition is unknown, but is linked to immune system disorders, hereditary factors or single instances of emotional distress.
In order to diagnose vitiligo, your doctor may perform a blood test or remove a small sample (biopsy) of affected skin in order to detect any abnormalities within the area. While there is no cure for vitiligo, there are several treatment options available to slow to progression of the condition and allow patients to once again feel confident and happy about the way they look.
Patients with vitiligo often experience white patches on the skin where depigmentation as occurred, as well as premature whitening of the hair (before the age of 35), change of color in the eye and loss of color on the inside of the mouth. While depigmentation can develop in nearly any area of the body, it is most common in sun-exposed areas such as the face, hands, feet and arms, and is most noticeable in people with darker skin.
Do you have any questions about Vitiligo? If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists in our Los Alamitos or Agoura Hills office, please contact us for a consultation.