Vitiligo is a skin condition in which patches of the skin lose pigment. In addition to presenting on the skin, some patients are affected in their hair, mouth or eyes. The condition is caused by death of melanocytes – the cells in our skin that create pigment. It is common to see vitiligo in patients who have a family history, and/or have an accompanying autoimmune disease. Sun exposure, stress and exposure to certain chemicals can trigger the condition. Typically the affected skin is not painful, but in some cases may feel itchy.
There is no way to prevent vitiligo and no medical reason to treat it, however many patients wish to take action in slowing the progression of the condition to improve their cosmetic appearance.
Topical creams or intralesional steroid injections and immunomodulators can help decrease any associated inflammation
Oral and injectable medications and biologic treatments can be used to shut down the autoinflammatory process.
Ultraviolet light and excimer laser therapies can help even out pigment loss
In very rare cases, skin grafting may be recommended as a surgical option