Patches of skin appear on different parts of the body. This happens because the cells that make pigment (color) in the skin are destroyed. These cells are called melanocytes (ma-LAN-o-sites). Vitiligo can also affect the mucous membranes (such as the tissue inside the mouth and nose) and the eye.

Treatment may help make the skin look more even

Medical treatments include:

  • Medicines (such as creams) that you put on the skin
  • Medicines that you take by mouth
  • A treatment that uses medicine plus ultraviolet A (UVA) light (PUVA)
  • Removing the color from other areas so they match the white patches.

Surgical treatments include:

Skin grafts from a person’s own tissues. The doctor takes skin from one area of a patient’s body and attaches it to another area. This is sometimes used for people with small patches of vitiligo.

Tattooing small areas of skin.

Other treatments include:

  • Sunscreens
  • Cosmetics, such as makeup or dye, to cover the white patches
  • Counseling and support.