Also known as: leukoderma

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin condition that is characterized by white patches of skin around the body. It’s the result of the skin cells that produce pigment, known as melanocytes, either not producing enough pigment or being destroyed. It can affect other parts of the body like hair, eye color, or mouth.

What causes vitiligo?

While the exact cause or causes are unknown, it appears that genetic and autoimmune factors probably are involved. 

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

The white patches present in different areas of the skin are the primary symptom. They are rarely painful or cause other problems. Common areas where they occur include the face, arms, hands and feet.

What are the treatments for vitiligo?

There is no cure for vitiligo and treatment may not be necessary. Depending on the size, location, and number of white patches, a variety of medical and other treatments are available.

Reviewed by: Ana Margarita Duarte, MD

This page was last updated on: July 30, 2021 04:33 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

Learn More