Symptoms of vitiligo

Symptoms of vitiligo

The clinic of vitiligo is very striking, being its characteristic symptom that clear spots are made visible  , which are usually symmetrical and begin around body orifices (mouth, anus …), armpits, around the nails, genitals, mammary areolas, and in areas where the bones are prominent (such as elbows and knees). It can also affect the eyes and mucous of the nose and mouth, although these locations are much less frequent.

These spots can reach a variable extent. The edges of these lesions may appear slightly darker and, in some cases, even slightly swollen and reddish; but always very well defined. In some patients bichrome, trichrome, quadrichromic vitiligo is described , depending on the different chromatic degrees that the skin acquires around the whitish spot, because in some situations there may be several shades between the spot and normal skin.

Most of the time the vitiligo does not produce any symptom as such, but some people describe a certain degree of itching on these lesions.

The spots usually appear in situations of stress , emotional stress , localized trauma, or burns(especially solar). The hair in these areas is initially dark and then turns white.

It is associated with certain frequency to auditory alterations , up to 20%, and in a percentage around 40% can also have eye alterations due to secondary affectation of the melanocytes that are found here.

Types of vitiligo

There are several types of vitiligo according to their appearance:

  • Located exclusively in hands or face: this is the most usual way.
  • Segmental: follows the path of a nerve or dermatome. It appears as thick lines along the skin, on one side of the body. This type almost never extends beyond the initial region. Once it appears, it is very stable.
  • Generalized: in several body areas, close to each other. Often with a symmetrical arrangement on both sides of the body.
  • Scattered: it is in different areas, far from each other.
  • Universal: for almost the entire surface of the body.


Vitiligo is associated with other diseases such as diabetes , Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism , Addison’s disease , asthma , alopecia areata , myasthenia gravis and halo nevus.