What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a disease caused by the destruction of the skin’s melanocytes in certain areas of the body. Patients suffering from this disease are seen with small white spots on the skin in any location of the body. Vitiligo can be localized and focal in one area, or it may be found in different areas on the body.

Vitiligo is a dermatological condition that is characterized by white patches of skin on several parts of the body. The condition is caused due to the destruction of melanocytes which are the cells that are responsible for skin pigmentation. It may also be due to autoimmune thyroid disease.

The condition may be mild with one or two spots or may be severe with depigmentation in larger areas of skin. It is common in people with autoimmune disorders, is not contagious, and is not always progressive in the affected persons. Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition that cannot be cured.

What are the causes of Vitiligo?

Although the exact cause for this skin depigmentation malady is still unknown, it is believed that this illness happens, when the patient’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys certain cells within its own body. Hence this disease arises out of an autoimmune condition in the patient’s body.

Generally, people develop this illness prior to their age of 40, and out of the half of the people develop this condition even before they are in their 20s. Experts say that this disease can have a genetic component in it since it has been observed that vitiligo run on members of the family.

However, experts on this disease are also of the opinion, that vitiligo can also occur because of associated medical conditions, like dysfunction of the thyroid glands.