Welcome to White Pebble dermatology practice in Columbia, Maryland, and Highland, Maryland! Our women-owned team is dedicated to providing comprehensive skin care for patients of all ages and skin types. One of the conditions we specialize in treating is vitiligo, a chronic skin disorder that affects pigmentation. In this section, we'll discuss vitiligo in more detail and explain how our team can help you manage and treat this condition.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects the pigmentation of the skin. It occurs when the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, are destroyed or stop functioning. This results in white patches of skin that can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face, hands, feet, and joints. Vitiligo can affect people of all ages, races, and genders, but it is more noticeable in individuals with darker skin tones.
Causes of Vitiligo
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but researchers believe it may be an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy cells in the body, including the melanocytes that produce melanin. Other factors that may contribute to the development of vitiligo include genetics, environmental factors, and certain medical conditions.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
The main symptom of vitiligo is the appearance of white patches of skin. The patches can vary in size and shape, and they may appear on one area of the body or be widespread. Vitiligo is a chronic condition, and the patches may gradually enlarge over time. Vitiligo can also affect the hair and cause loss of color in the affected area.
Diagnosis of Vitiligo
Diagnosing vitiligo typically involves a physical exam and a review of medical history. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to confirm