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What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition in which there is a loss of pigment resulting in white patches on the skin.
Who gets vitiligo?
All races are affected but it is most obvious in darker skin types.
What causes vitiligo?
This is uncertain. There are several theories, the most accepted is that it is an autoimmune (Individual’s antibodies attacking one’s own cells) disease.
Where does it develop?
It is usually present on both sides of the body especially on the face (around eyes and mouth), knees, hands, legs and genital area.
How can it be treated?
There is no cure and treatment can be challenging. Sun protection is very important as affected skin is at greater risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Sunscreens with SPF > 30 should be used on exposed areas.
Treatment options for vitiligo include:
- Cosmetic camouflage
- Topical steroids
- Light therapy
- Immune suppressing creams
- Skin grafting
- De-pigmenting remaining bits of normal skin in very extensive cases.