Vitiligo / White Patches

Vitiligo image

Vitiligo / White Patches

Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disease in which there is a progressive destruction of the melanocytes (skin’s pigment-producing cells). This results in areas of white skin devoid of melanin pigment. About 3-4% people in India are affected with vitiligo. It affects people of all genders, different races, religions and socioeconomic groups.

Causes of Vitiligo

Vitiligo is caused by several factors in combination and the exact single cause for the disease is not yet known. But one thing is confirmed that the disease does not spread from one to another by touching or close contact . There are several hypothesis or theories behind why the disease occurs like gene mutation, hereditary factors, autoimmunity, deficiency of anti oxidants etc. Trauma, injury, emotional stress can lead to development of new lesions.

Clinical presentation

  • White patches of skin with white hair on the surface appear on the body. Most commonly on the limbs , but can appear anywhere.
  • Eyelashes or eyebrows losing color and turning white.
  • White patches in the nose and around mouth, finger tips etc.
  • Development of new lesions at the site of trauma like scratch marks, laceration etc.
  • Emotional trauma can lead to rapid extension and spread of lesions.
  • Vitiligo may present with associated disorders like alopecia areata, psoriasis, lichen planus, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, internal malignancy etc.

Note - The course of the disease is unpredictable and uncertain. Many lesions remain static for indefinite period or show some degree of spontaneous regression with development of re-pigmentation spots. Others may show extension of lesions and appearance of new lesions at other sites.


The condition is diagnosed easily by clinical examination . Skin biopsy and histopathological examinations might be required in doubtful cases.

The patients should be educated about the need for a good general health and a balanced nutritious diet enriched with adequate proteins, vitamins B-complex and E, and minerals such as copper, zinc and iron. They need to be instructed regarding avoidance of physical, chemical and emotional trauma as far as possible.

Treatment is divided into medical treatment, surgical treatment, cosmetic camouflaging.

  • Medical management includes PUVA therapy, topical therapy with calcinueurin inhibitors, corticosteroids, growth factors etc. Oral therapy with cyclosporins, azathioprine, lemivasole etc.
  • Surgical treatment includes surgical excision, dermaberasion, punch grafting, mini grafting, thin thiersch grafting, epidermal grafting etc.
  • Cosmetic camouflaging like micropigmentation.
  • Doctors at 4 Senses Clinic take history patiently, examine the patient thoroughly and diagnose the condition with minimal and necessary investigations. After finding out the root cause of problem, they provide accurate treatment. The doctors also counsel on how to prevent further recurrences. If you are looking at treatment for vitiligo, contact  Call:6366494494

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