Vitiligo causes loss of your natural color. Dermatologists may call this “loss of pigment” or “depigmentation.” We can lose pigment anywhere on our bodies, including our skin (around mouth, around eyes, armpits and groin), hair (scalp, eyebrow, eyelash, beard), eyes, mouth (inside), around the genital region, areola and nipple, rectal areas, places that have been injured in the past and around moles Most people who get vitiligo lose color on their skin. The affected skin can lighten or turn completely white. Many people do not have any other signs or symptoms. They feel completely healthy.
Depending on the type of vitiligo you have, the discolored patches may cover:
• Many parts of your body– With this most common type, called generalized vitiligo, the discolored patches often progress similarly on corresponding body parts (symmetrically).
• Only one side or part of your body– This type, called segmental vitiligo, tends to occur at a younger age, progress for a year or two and then stop.
• One or only a few areas of your body–This type is called localized (focal) vitiligo.
It’s difficult to predict how your disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most untreated cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of your skin. Rarely, the skin gets its color back. You may have cycles of pigment loss and stability. See your doctor if areas of your skin, hair or eyes lose coloring. Vitiligo has no cure. But treatment may help to stop or slow the discoloring process and return some color to your skin.