Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition characterized by white spots and patches of skin devoid of pigment. Vitiligo most commonly occurs around the eyes, mouth, genital area, hands, feet, elbows and knees. New patches of Vitiligo may occur in areas where skin gets scratched or traumatized.
Vitiligo is due to a progressive self-destruction of melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in the skin. It can be related to other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease and type I insulin-dependent diabetes.
Treatment response is variable. Therapies include topical prescription medications, light therapy, and excimer laser therapy. Areas affected by vitiligo are very prone to sunburn as they are devoid of protective pigment. It is advisable for patients to used broad spectrum high protection factor sunscreens on affected areas which may be exposed to sunlight.