WHAT IS VITILIGO?
Vitiligo is a disorder of pigmentation where you have areas of loss of pigmentation on the skin. It is relatively common. Biopsies done on the skin to diagnose this will reveal loss of melanocytes in the epidermis. The melanocytes in the skin are responsible for making the melanin pigment in the skin. The size of affected areas can vary from localized to more generalized and sometimes can affect a large area of the skin.
HOW DOES VITILIGO OCCUR?
The etiology of vitiligo is unknown although there is a suggestion of an autoimmune component to vitiligo. There are other proposed theories including Genetic – as 25-50% of persons with vitiligo will have affected relatives.
“WHY” IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
Vitiligo can be very disfiguring in dark pigmented individuals and so can have a strong impact on the quality of life of both children and adults. Patients with vitiligo especially when over a large area of their skin can experience stigmatization, social isolation and low self-esteem.
If you suffer from vitiligo, please reach out to your primary care provider for diagnosis and management.