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Diagnosis of vitiligo is made based on clinical impression, although other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid conditions and diabetes may also occur. In these cases, the necessary tests must be performed. For instance, if hypothyroidism is suspected, thyroid levels must be checked.

The distribution of the lesions may either be localized (to one area) or generalized (more than one are involved). Usual sites include the hands, phalanges, joints, arms and face, where they prefer a circumoral (around the mouth) or circumorbital (around the eyes) distribution. The scalp may also be involved and this manifests as an area of gray or white hair. However, total involvement of the scalp may also occur. Unfortunately, re-pigmentation of involved hair does not happen.

Unfortunately, there isn't only a single effective treatment for vitiligo. Response to therapy varies depending on the patient and the specific case. Given this, vitiligo treatment should be individualized, in other words customized to the patient:


Phototherapy may be done and this can produce good results in around 70% of patients. This can be used even in children and pregnant women. For small lesions, UVB Narrow Band  Microphototherapy may be used.

Psoralen photochemotherapy combined with UV-A (PUVA) produces great results for lesions on the face and trunk. For lesions limited to 20% or less of the body surface area, laser therapy is a new innovation. Some have advocated the use of steroids for vitiligo treatment, but effects prolonged use may be undesirable.

Depigmentation may be preferred in patients wherein other forms of treatment do not work. Surgery may also be recommended, but this is limited stable unilateral vertigo. For more information about vitiligo, visit