FAQWhat 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 about half of all cases this can be a specific trigger or an unfortunate combination of benign conditions. In the other half, the cause of vitiligo remains unknown.

Psychological stress is the most frequently reported trigger for vitiligo. Severe sunburn, physical skin damage, prolonged contact with certain chemicals may induce or worsen vitiligo. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, delivery and menopause may be the culprit. Parasites and chronic gastritis that impair absorption of vital elements by the digestive system may also indirectly cause vitiligo.

Chemical triggers include materials with:

  • p-phenylenediamine (also known as para-phenylene diamine or PPD), 
  • para-tertiary butylphenol (PTBP), and
  • monobenzylether of hydroquinone (MBH), 
are commonly found in hair dyes, perfume, cosmetics, detergents, cleansers, insecticides, rubber condoms, rubber slippers, black socks and shoes, print inks, motor oil additives and germicidal soaps.

FAQOther Questions

  • 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 stop new pat...

  • Who is prone to vitiligo?

    Scientists know that some people are genetically predisposed to a specific group of autoimmune diseases – including generalized vitiligo – but do not know who and why.It doesn’t...

  • How long does it take to treat vitiligo?

    Treatment results will vary by person and type of vitiligo. The rule of thumb is that you will need to allow at least 3 to 6 months before you begin to see results from any trea...