Idiopathic Vitiligo

Idiopathic Vitilgio: What Is It?

Idiopathic vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the pigment producing cells, resulting in depigmented patches of skin all over the body. It affects about 1-2% of the global population and can be found in any age group. People with this condition may feel embarrassed or insecure due to its appearance.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of idiopathic vitiligo is the appearance of white patches on the skin. The patches can vary in size and shape, and may occur on any area of the body. Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of color in the inner layer of the eyeball (sclera).
  • Premature graying or loss of hair on scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.
  • Discoloration of nails.


The exact cause of idiopathic vitiligo is unknown. However, it is believed to be the result of an autoimmune disorder, where the body starts attacking its own melanin producing cells (melanocytes). Other possible causes may include the following:

  • Hereditary factors.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins.
  • Prolonged emotional stress.
  • Viral infections.


Idiopathic vitiligo can be diagnosed through a physical examination of the skin. The doctor may also perform a biopsy to check for the presence of melanocytes in the white patches. Other tests may include a blood test to look for signs of an autoimmune disorder and an analysis of hair follicles to look for signs of hair loss.


The treatment for idiopathic vitiligo depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, no treatment may be necessary. In more severe cases, treatments may include:

  • Medications to stop the progression of the disease and restore color to the affected areas.
  • Light therapy to increase the size of the white patches.
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery to implant melanocytes in the depigmented areas.


There is no sure way to prevent idiopathic vitiligo from occurring. However, there are a few steps you can take to lower your risk of developing the disorder:

  • Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and toxins.
  • Manage stress with regular relaxation techniques.
  • Consume a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect from UV rays.