The exaggerated depigmentation of the skin: vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin disease that involves the loss of color or pigment in different areas of the skin, resulting in uneven white patches in the depigmented area.

It is said to be an autoimmune disease, since the body mistakenly detects that it is being attacked and kills the cells that produce pigmentation on the skin.

Causes of vitiligo

It can occur when the immune cells destroy the cells that produce the pigment in the skin (melanocytes).

Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, the substance that gives color to hair and skin.

Normally, vitiligo is related to genetic factors although sometimes it is by simple chance. This problem is only a matter of aesthetics since it does not cause any damage to the skin, in most cases.

Other reasons why these spots may appear are:

  • By eating a diet low in some nutrient
  • Malnutrition
  • By age
  • Because of the malfunction of the cells that produce the pigment in the skin
  • By ethnic race
  • By pregnancy
  • Due to stress
  • By the sun

However, if you detect white or rare spots on the skin, you should always go to the dermatologist to perform a complete checkup.


These spots can appear anywhere on the body, although it is more common to appear in areas with greater exposure to the sun such as the face, hands, arms … as they are not covered with clothes in summer, for example.

The spots do not cause serious health problems for the patient but, in some cases, it requires psychological help, according to the extent of the spots spread by the body.

This disease affects children and adults, equally, of any race and gender.

What treatments are there?

Since vitiligo has no cure, there are treatments that reduce stains or at least disguise them.

Among the most known treatments are:

  • Cosmetics
  • Surgeries
  • Phototherapy

Deciding on one treatment or another depends on the degree of depigmentation of the skin and how the person cohabits with the disease, although in less serious cases, with a little cosmetic and a good sunscreen cream from pharmacy, it will be enough.

In the Vithas Xanit International Hospital Check-ups Unit the necessary tests are carried out to determine the degree of the disease, the causes for which it has been developed and above all, the patient is advised with the guidelines to follow to prevent further depigmentation.

If you need the help of a dermatologist, your specialist will give you an appointment for a better study of your skin.

Featured image of this post by Freepik