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The symptoms of vitiligo include:

  • Milky-white, irregularly-shaped patches on the skin
  • May first become noticeable on sun-exposed areas (face, hands, feet, arms, legs)
  • Other common areas for patches include the armpit, groin, around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, genital and rectal areas
  • Premature whitening or greying of hair on scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
  • Colour loss in the mucous membranes inside the mouth and nose (less common)

Vitiligo generally appears in one of three patterns:

  1. Generalized pattern (most common): patches are spread all over the body, often symmetrically
  2. Focal pattern: depigmented patches are limited to one or a few areas
  3. Segmental pattern: colour loss occurs in patches on only one side of the body

Looking Deeper

Typical vitiligo results in areas of irregularly shaped and sized milky-white skin. The degree of pigment loss can vary within each patch, resulting in different shades of pigment within a patch. Sometimes a light patch may be ringed by a border of darker skin. Patients often notice a rapid loss of pigment initially, which then stops for unknown reasons. Cycles of pigment loss followed by no change in pigmentation can continue indefinitely.

 

Learn About Skin Conditions

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