What is Vitiligo?

Viti who? If you don’t know someone who has been affected by this skin disease there is a good chance you may not be familiar with it. In short, vitiligo is the discoloration of the skin. There is no known cure for vitiligo but there are treatments that can improve its appearance and thus help people affected by the disease.

Vitiligo is characterized by the destruction of melanocytes (pigment cells) that either die or stop producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes, color. This lack of pigment production causes the skin that is affected to lose color in blotches. The discoloration is most apparent on sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, feet, arms, face and lips.Vitiligo can start at any age, but most often appears during teenage years. This can include:

• Skin discoloration
• Premature graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
• Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose