This disease affects the skin and hair. With it, you develop areas that have no pigment. You'll see white splotches on your skin. And areas of your hair may turn white. Over time, these areas can grow larger. While vitiligo isn't harmful, it can make you feel unhappy with the way you look.


What causes vitiligo? We don't know exactly. It may be linked to a problem with your immune system. It may be linked to your genes. And it may be linked to a trigger in your environment.


What are the symptoms? Well, there are different types of vitiligo, and they affect you in different ways. In general, this disease usually begins before age 30. You notice small white patches of skin that gradually get bigger. Patches of hair on your scalp and face may turn white. Vitiligo can affect all of your body, or just parts of it. For example, it may affect your hands, face and genitals. It can affect the mucous membranes inside your mouth and nose. Sometimes vitiligo affects both sides of the body symmetrically. In other cases, only one side is affected.


How do we treat it? There is a range of different options. These include things like medications and light therapy. You may benefit from a procedure to lighten the pigment of the surrounding skin. This helps your white patches blend in more evenly. You may benefit from surgery. You can also use makeup to cover up the affected areas. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.