Vitiligo vulgaris is defined as an idiopathic, acquired type of leukoderma manifested by depigmentation of the epidermis resulting from destruction of melanocytes. Vitiligo usually affects interfollicular melanocytes and spares follicular melanocytes, but both types can be destroyed in severe cases. Early vitiligo results in hypopigmentation, that is, tri- or pentachrome vitiligo, but advanced vitiligo causes depigmentation. In vitiligo certain sets of genes render the melanocyte fragile and susceptible to undergoing apoptosis. The genetic basis for vitiligo is multifactorial. Medical therapies for vitiligo involve ultraviolet radiation or topical medications, for example, steroids or immunomodulators. Surgical treatment for vitiligo involves grafting of autologous skin.
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