Vitiligo is an illness which produces totally white spots on the skin and loss of skin pigment in any location. Melanin (natural skin pigment) is destroyed by immune complexes (our "defense" mechanism) which attack the body's own melanocytes, destroying their pigment.
The areas most commonly affected are: the armpits, the groin, around the mouth, the eyes, the nostrils (also know as the nasal cavity), the belly button, the genitals and the rectal area.
Most people with vitiligo develop it prior to turning 40. This illness affects men and women of all races equally.
People with certain autoimmune disorders (such as hyperthyroidism) are more likely to suffer from vitiligo than those without autoimmune disorders. Therefore, a fundamental part of its study is to rule out other autoimmune disorders.
The treatment vitiligo must be individualized and includes: a decrease of exposure to the sun, thus rendering areas with or without melanin less conspicuous; cosmetics that diminish the differences, concealing them; topical steroids., calcineurin inhibitors, and phototherapy.