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 (becomes white), eye color, or mouth.

What causes vitiligo?

While the exact cause/s are unknown, it appears that genetic and autoimmune (when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells) 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 vitiligo care options?

There is no cure for vitiligo and treatment may not be necessary. Depending on the size, location, and number of white patches, (and whether your child is having school or peer problems associated with the discoloration) a variety of medical and other treatments are available. Your Specialist Pediatric Dermatology Team at Nicklaus Children's Hospital will discuss all the options available with you to ensure the best results possible.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 05, 2019 03:09 PM

Learn more about