This is an unappealing yet harmless skin disorder characterised by
white patches of skin that have seemingly lost their ability to produce the normal colour
of the skin.
What to look for
Usually this disorder occurs before the age
of 20. It can come and go or lay dormant for year. It is usually stress
The onset of the loss of pigmentation
varies in different people, one person may lose all their pigmentation, while another may
only have a few spots of lost colour.
Vitiligo is not dangerous, but it is
sometimes linked with other diseases or disorders such as thyroid
problems, pernicious anaemia, Addison's disease (decreased
adrenal gland function), and alopecia areata (hair loss in
It is not known what causes vitiligo,
although it is suspected that it is hereditary. Emotional stress may the onset of
In essence what happens in the body is that
the cells stop producing melanin which gives the skin and hair its colour. There are
several possibilities one is that this is an autoimmune disease in which the cells attack
there own cells, perceiving them as foreign. The problem can cause distress and
embarrassment and can affect peoples self esteem.