Are You Born with Vitiligo?

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Vitiligo is an acquired skin disorder characterized by white spots. It is the total absence of pigment-producing cells in the skin called melanocytes.

Who Gets Vitiligo?

Vitiligo appears to affect at least 1% to 2% of the population, irrespective of sex, race, or age. The more dark skinned a person is, the more their vitiligo stands out, because of the contrast between affected and unaffected areas of skin. Hence, there is a higher prevalence of vitiligo in countries with darker-skinned populations.

In half of all vitiligo cases, onset occurs between the ages of 10 and 30. There are a few reported cases of vitiligo present at birth. Vitiligo in old age also rarely happens.

Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to vitiligo. Many patients attribute the onset of their vitiligo to physical trauma, illness, or emotional stress. Often mentioned is the emergence following the death of a relative or after severe bodily injury. Even sunburn reaction may precipitate vitiligo.


White Vitiligo Spots

The typical vitiligo macule is chalk white and has convex margins. It is usually 5mm or more in diameter. It is round, oval, or elongated in shape.

The disease progresses by gradual enlargement of each macule and the development of new white spots on various parts of the body.


Where Does Vitiligo Appear On The Body?

Generalized vitiligo is the most common type of vitiligo. In this type, there is a widespread distribution of white macules, often in a symmetrical array.

Focal vitiligo appears as one or more macules on a single site. In some cases, this may be an early evolutionary stage of one of the other forms of the disease. Typical macules occur in the elbows, fingers, lower back, genital area, and knees.

The segmental type, which is uncommon, features one of several macules on one hand or one side of the body.


Not All White Spots Are Vitiligo

Few conditions are as patterned and symmetrical as vitiligo. Sometimes, the spots match on both extremities in a mirror-image.

Woods light examination detects all the spots, especially in fair-skinned persons. In certain severe cases, a skin biopsy may confirm the diagnosis. A defining feature is that pigment cells in the skin are absent in vitiligo.


Vitiligo is sometimes a result of general diseases, such as thyroid disease among others. Associated cutaneous conditions include white hair and grey hair, alopecia areata, and halo nevi. There is no increased risk of malignancy. Skin cancers appear to be unusual.

An eye examination may reveal evidence of healed chorioretinitis or iritis. Vitiligo does not affect vision, and there are no critical hearing changes. Laboratory studies for detection of general diseases associated with vitiligo include:

Thyroid profile: especially TSH (radioimmunoassay)

Fasting blood sugar (to rule out diabetes)

Complete blood count with indices (to rule out pernicious anemia)


Why Does Vitiligo Develop?

Vitiligo results from many factors. The mechanism involves the progressive destruction of selected melanocytes by cytotoxic T-cell lymphocytes


How Much Vitiligo Will You Develop?

Vitiligo is a chronic disease process. Its course is variable and unpredictable. Rapid onset followed by a period of stability or low progression is most characteristic.

Some vitiligo patients report some spontaneous re-pigmentation, particularly in sun-exposed areas. Treatment of vitiligo-associated diseases doesn’t produce re-pigmentation in areas discolored by vitiligo.

6 Replies to “Are You Born with Vitiligo?”

  1. Vitiligo is hard to handle and incurable. Vitiligo is not a transmittable disease it’s a genetic disorder. vitiligo will run through only from genes. If your family has vitiligo, then you may have vitiligo. This is a genetically transmitted disorder. I have vitiligo for the past 8 years and I am a former professor at the university. There’s no exact treatment to cure vitiligo. The scientist is researching on it.

  2. I was born with vitiligo, I have a spot at half the face on the right side. my Eyebrow on the “white side” is also white (no pigment). I have no more such spots, they are not added, and they do not become smaller.

    1. I am also born with White skin on right side of my face less than half skin is white including eye, eye brow and a small spot in my head on right upper side of ear. can u share your skin image with me on my email

  3. i have vitiligo since birth and my grandmother surely hates it. so she went to the doctor for cures but there is no cure at that time (i believe this is in 2008 and vitiligo didn’t have a cure too now actually :’)) oh i forgot this, i have a spot on my right hand along my thumb and index finger. i’m malay so we use our right hand the most and this makes my grandmother upset. so the spot have spread until i’m 9 and now i’m 19 in college without hesitation and tell myself i can do this (self-love)

  4. My 2 years old daughter borned with vitiligo….a white big spot on left cheek and a white big spot on neck………but there is no effect on hair…….im worried about her…please guide me…

  5. Homoeopathy constitutional Treatments can help you with this.
    Tests: To check the thyroid functions
    To look for the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies (that would point towards auto-immune cause)
    To rule out pernicious anemia
    The patient must be assured that the disease not infectious or contagious.
    Otherwise, persistent mental anxieties and worries due to
    wrong conception of the disease will doubtlessly act as an impediment in the way of cure Hence the patient should be assured that the disease is not a sin and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
    Expose the affected areas of the body to the early morning sun for 20-30 minutes daily.

    Use a mild soap while bathing.

    Avoid using any cosmetic applications on skin.
    Make sure that your diet contains enough iron, cereals, beans and green leafy vegetables which are some of the best sources of iron.

    Avoid consuming sour foods, citrus fruits, fish,red meat, crabs and prawns.

    Use of synthetic clothes should be restricted.
    Avoid steroids.

    Avoid stress and learn to relax.

    Keep a positive attitude.

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