Vitiligo is a skin disease in which there are loss pigments that give colour to our skin causing milky white patches or depigmentation of the skin. Vitiligo can start at any age and affects both males and females. There is no loss of sensation in the areas that are depigmented unlike leprosy. People often get confused between leprosy and Leucoderma. Vitiligo is not a communicable skin disease unlike leprosy which is a communicable skin disease which is caused by mycobacterium leprae. However, the condition may be more common in people with certain autoimmune diseases in which your immune system reacts against your body's own organs or tissues such as Addison's disease, vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia), or thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The natural course of vitiligo is very difficult to predict. Sometimes the patches may stop forming without treatment. In other cases, pigment loss can involve most of the surface of your skin without or with treatment.
Vitiligo may cause the hair to become white on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard or elsewhere on the body where hair is found.
It can also cause the loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of the mouth also known as mucous membranes.
Vitiligo can also affect the pigments present in the retina of the eye causing loss or change on the color of the inner layer of the retina.
De-pigmentation can occur in any part of the body but it first affects those areas of the body which are exposed to the sun such as face, lips, hands, elbows and arms.
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