Vitiligo

Overview
  • Vitiligo is an idiopathic acquired total loss of melanocytes in discrete areas of the skin yielding well-demarcated patches of complete pigment loss. Onset is typically in adolescence or early adulthood, between the ages of 10-30.
Etiology and Pathogenesis
  • The precise etiology of vitiligo is unknown but a systemic immune derangement is possible as other co-morbid autoimmune disease is frequently found such as Graves Disease, Addisons Disease, and pernicious anemia. Others have proposed an intrinsic defect in melanocytes, leading to their loss in affected areas.
Morphology and Clinical Consequences
  • Vitiligo is characterized by sharply demarcated, flat patches of complete pigment loss which appears chalk white. Other than the loss of pigment, affected skin is otherwise normal. Onset can be insidious in some cases or abrupt in others.