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- Vitiligo facts*
- What is vitiligo?
- What causes vitiligo?
- Who is affected by vitiligo?
- What are vitiligo symptoms and signs?
- Will the white patches spread?
- How is vitiligo diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for vitiligo?
- What can people do to cope with vitiligo?
- What research is being done on vitiligo?
- For more information on vitiligo and other related conditions
Will the white patches spread?
There is no way to tell if vitiligo will spread. For some people, the white patches do not spread. But often the white patches will spread to other areas of the body. For some people, vitiligo spreads slowly, over many years. For other people, spreading occurs quickly. Some people have reported more white patches after physical or emotional stress.
How is vitiligo diagnosed?
The doctor will use a family and medical history, physical exam, and tests to diagnose vitiligo. The doctor may ask questions such as:
- Do you have family members with vitiligo?
- Do you or family members have any autoimmune diseases?
- Did you have a rash, sunburn, or other skin problem before the white patches appeared?
- Did you have some type of stress or physical illness?
- Did your hair turn gray before age 35?
- Are you sensitive to the sun?
The doctor will do a physical exam to rule out other medical problems.
Tests might include:
- Taking a small sample (biopsy) of the affected skin to be examined
- Blood tests
- An eye exam.