Facial Depigmentation

Facial Depigmentation

What is depigmentation/vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which patches of skin loses their color.

The total area of skin that can be affected by vitiligo varies between individuals. It can also affect the eyes, the inside of mouth, and the hair. In most cases, the affected areas remain discolored for the rest of the person's life.The condition is photosensitive. This means that the areas that are affected will be more sensitive to sunlight than those that are not.

It is hard to predict whether the patches will spread, and by how much. The spread might take weeks, or the patches might remain stable for months or years.The lighter patches tend to be more visible in people with dark or tanned skin.

Facial vitiligo can occur on the skin, lips, and also the inside your mouth. It occurs when some of your skin cells stop producing melanin. Melanin gives your skin its color. A lack of melanin results in white or light patches on the skin’s surface.

Symptoms

Vitiligo primarily affects your skin. Symptoms of facial vitiligo include:

  • lightened or white skin that develops in spots or patches on the face
  • hair that gets prematurely gray or white, including your beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows
  • lightening of the tissues inside your mouth and nose
  • changed color of the retina in your eyes

Other symptoms of vitiligo can range from person to person. You may have no other symptoms associated with the condition and feel fine. Or you may experience some of the following:

  • pain
  • itching
  • stress
  • low self-esteem
  • depression

Diagnosis

We are able to diagnose facial vitiligo from just a physical examination. Or our doctor may use one or more additional methods to diagnose the condition. These may include:

  • looking at the affected area under a Wood’s lamp, which uses ultraviolet (UV) rays to examine the skin
  • taking a blood test to check for conditions that are associated with vitiligo, like thyroid disease, diabetes, or another autoimmune condition
  • discussing recent changes to your health, including sunburn, illness, or stress
  • reviewing your family history
  • taking a skin biopsy to examine the cells that produce pigment.

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