Vitiligo is a long-term disease of the skin marked by skin patches that lose their pigment. The affected skin patches turn white and usually have sharp margins. The hair on the skin can become white as well. It can also include the inside of the mouth and nose. Both sides of the body are usually affected. ] Patches often start on areas of the skin exposed to the light. In individuals with dark skin, it is more apparent. Psychological stress may result from vitiligo and those affected may be stigmatized.
It is not known the exact cause of vitiligo. Genetic vulnerability exacerbated by an environmental factor so that an autoimmune disorder arises is thought to be attributable to it.
A family history of the disorder or other autoimmune disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, alopecia areata, and pernicious anemia, are risk factors. It is not infectious.