A condition in which white patches develop on the skin due to the loss of pigment-producing cells.

Share this content

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by the loss of pigmentation, resulting in white patches on the skin. While not physically harmful, it can have significant psychological and emotional effects on individuals. This article aims to provide factual information about vitiligo, including its symptoms, causes, effects, associated dangers, available treatments, and whether it is treatable.


The primary symptom of vitiligo is the appearance of depigmented patches on the skin. These patches are typically pale or white and can occur anywhere on the body, including the face, hands, arms, and other areas. In some cases, hair in affected areas may also lose its natural color.

Who Suffers from It?

Vitiligo affects individuals of all races and ethnicities, regardless of age or gender. It is estimated that about 1% of the global population is affected by vitiligo. While it can develop at any age, it often first appears in young adulthood.

Effects of Vitiligo

While vitiligo is not physically painful or harmful, it can have significant emotional and psychological effects on individuals. The condition can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, anxiety, and depression, especially if the affected areas are prominent or visible.

Dangers Associated with Vitiligo

From a medical standpoint, vitiligo is not dangerous. However, the emotional and psychological impact can be substantial, affecting an individual’s self-esteem and overall quality of life. In rare cases, individuals with vitiligo may be at a slightly higher risk of sunburn and skin cancer in affected areas, so sun protection is advised.

Is Vitiligo Treatable?

While there is no known cure for vitiligo, there are treatments available to manage the condition and improve the appearance of affected areas. Common treatments include:

  1. Topical Corticosteroids: These creams or ointments can help restore some pigmentation to affected areas.
  2. Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors: These medications modulate the immune system and can be effective in repigmenting the skin.
  3. Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA) Therapy: This involves taking a medication (psoralen) followed by exposure to UVA light.
  4. Narrowband Ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) Therapy: This treatment uses a specific wavelength of UVB light to stimulate repigmentation.
  5. Micropigmentation or Tattooing: In some cases, cosmetic tattooing can be used to match the color of the surrounding skin.


Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by depigmented patches on the skin. While it is not physically harmful, it can have significant emotional and psychological effects. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for individuals affected by vitiligo. Seeking advice from a dermatologist is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment planning.

Book now

Book a consultation.

(+974) 44 190 888


Other dermatological conditions treated at Al Farid Hospital.