Question 10. Whitish and depigmented patches on skin...?
Question 10. Whitish and depigmented patches on skin: how can I know what they are?
- Not all whitish patches on the skin are vitiligo.
- Depigmented patches on the skin, other than vitiligo, are named leukodermas; they can be “occupational”.
- Occupational and drug-related forms of depigmentation can be manifested as vitiligo.
- Common disorders with similar manifestation include Nevus Depigmentosus, Piebaldism, etc.
No, not all white patches are vitiligo, but white patches resembling vitiligo are not unusual on human skin. They are called leukodermas. Chemical leukoderma can be induced by dyes, perfumes, detergents, cleansers, insecticides, rubber condoms, rubber slippers, black socks and shoes, eyeliners, lipliners, lipsticks, toothpaste, antiseptics with phenolic derivatives, and mercuric iodide-containing ‘‘germicidal’’ soap.
Occupational vitiligo may occur in those individuals who work with depigmenting substances, such as hydroquinone, para-tertiary butyl catechol, para-tertiary butyl phenol, para-tertiary amyl phenol, and hydroquinone monomethyl ether.
Depigmentation has also been reported in shoemakers and after contact with arsenic containing compounds. Nevus depigmentosus is a segmental hypopigmentation detectable in the first year of life and stable in size in proportion to the child’s growth. With a Wood’s lamp, the contrast between lesional and normal skin is less marked than in vitiligo.
Piebaldism is an autosomal dominant disease presenting at birth, with anterior midline depigmentation and a white forelock (poliosis). Many other types of leukoderma have been described. The diagnosis and treatment of leukodermas requiress an expert approach. The only way to know if a depigmented patch on the skin is vitiligo or not is to consult a Dermatologist with special interest in Pigmentary Disorders of the skin.
Author: Prof. Torello Lotti, MD
Please be advised that all information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician or health practitioner. Users are warned against changing any aspects of their treatment, diet or lifestyle based on this information without first consulting a registered medical practitioner. While every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy, VR Foundation makes no warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of the content which reflect personal opinion of the authors.
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
The Step Up for Vitiligo Gala
Dallas-Fort Worth Vitiligo Support Group is organizing 'The Step Up for Vitiligo Gala' which will take place on April 28th in Austin, Texas at UT-Austin. Dr. Ammar Ah...28 April 2018 12:00, Austin, Texas at UT-Austin
11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
The 11th session Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 12 to 14 June 2018. Mo...12 June 2018 09:00, UN Plaza, New York
How can I cure vitiligo?
There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are a number of effective treatment options that can be discussed with your GP or dermatologist. The aim of treatment is to st...
How to get insurance coverage for vitiligo treatments?
Most of health insurance companies will initially reject claims for vitiligo doctor visits or phototherapy treatments but with enough efforts you can have a substantia...
What causes vitiligo?
Surprisingly, the causes of vitiligo are yet to be precisely established. Researchers know the cause is pre-wired in your genes, just waiting for a bad luck moment. In...