Vitiligo

Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition characterized by light patches of skin devoid of pigment. Vitiligo most commonly occurs around the mouth, eyes, genital area, hands, feet, elbows and knees. New patches of vitiligo may occur in areas where skin gets scratched or traumatized. Vitiligo is due to a progressive self-destruction of melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in the skin. It can be related to other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, type I insulin-dependent diabetes, certain forms of anemia, alopecia areata, and inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment response is variable. Therapies include topical prescription medications, light therapy, and excimer laser therapy. Rarely, depigmentation therapy using 20% monobenzylether of hydroquinone is used in severe cases when patients wish to be one single color of skin.