Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that causes skin pigmentation to lessen and/or lighten in patches in a localized area or across the entire body. Vitiligo is triggered when the melanocyte cells that give skin its pigment die, causing skin to fade. It is unknown what causes these cells to die. In most cases skin pigment may return with time, but for some, the color loss can be permanent if not treated.
Vitiligo affects people of all races. It often begins between ages 20 and 40. If you suspect you may have vitiligo or have been diagnosed with vitiligo and require treatment, a board-certified dermatologist can offer a range of treatment options from ultraviolet light therapy, topical treatments, skin grafts or depigmentation treatments.