Question 7. I have vitiligo: which blood tests ...?

Key points

  • After a full body skin examination, specific forms of vitiligo may require blood examination or other medical tests.
  • Vitiligo can be generally divided into three classification types: localized, generalized and universal (involving more than 80% of the skin): according to this, different blood tests or specific examinations are necessary.
  • Thyroid disorders and autoimmune diseases should be investigated in generalized and universal forms.
  • Ophthalmologic and auditory investigations can be useful in generalized and universal forms.
  • Localized vitiligo usually does not require blood tests or further medical examinations.
  • In conclusion, generalized and universal vitiligo per se, require the investigation of thyroid disorders and other autoimmune diseases, as well as ophthalmologic and auditory investigations.

After the diagnosis of vitiligo, a full body skin examination is necessary in order to evaluate the specific form of the disease. Thyrotropin (thyroid- stimulating hormone) levels, antinuclear antibody titer, and a complete blood count should be considered for all generalized forms of vitiligo, especially when prompted by signs or symptoms. Antithyroidperoxidase antibodies and/or antithyroglobulin antibody tests may also be worthwhile. They are mandatory, if any signs of thyroid disease are present.

The evaluation of possible associated disorders is mandatory in all generalized forms of vitiligo. In these cases all autoimmune diseases should be screened, as well as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, pernicious anemia and diabetes. Ophthalmologic and auditory investigations can be useful, because melanocytes are present both in the eye and in the inner ear.

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.

image description

I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.

To download this free file, please tell us a little bit about yourself.