Start with key facts

When you’re living with vitiligo, or caring for someone who is, the information out there can leave you feeling a bit confused. But we’ve got you covered. Learning about vitiligo is an ongoing journey as new information becomes available, but getting started with the basics can help you feel more confident in understanding the condition.

It was a scary moment for me when he was first diagnosed. All sorts of things came to mind, like how will this affect not only his appearance but also his health?”

- Walkenia, Joshua’s mom

The physical signs of vitiligo

You may already know that the primary symptom of vitiligo is the white spots that appear on the skin. This is called depigmentation. When you have vitiligo, melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment that give your skin its color) are destroyed. This results in depigmentation, or a loss of pigment on your skin.

Depigmentation can appear on any part of the body, including:

  • Skin: usually on the hands, feet, arms, torso, and face
  • Hair: scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair
  • Inside of the mouth or nose

Talking to a healthcare provider or even a loved one about how the physical symptoms make you feel may help you feel less alone in your journey.





There are misconceptions about vitiligo out there. Knowing the truth can help you feel more informed when it comes to understanding vitiligo. It’s time to test your knowledge and debunk these myths!


Fact or Fiction:

A root cause of vitiligo is severe sunburn.


While severe sunburn (and other physical factors like trauma) can be a vitiligo trigger, it is not a root cause. Vitiligo is actually an autoimmune condition, meaning a person's own immune system is attacking their body.

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Vitiligo management options

There are a lot of management options available through a healthcare provider–that’s why we’ve broken down what’s out there. You are your best advocate for your own skin: know what will best suit your lifestyle and comfort level before visiting your dermatologist.

Repigmentation Management

In-Office Device management

This laser treatment is used by dermatologists in-office for stable (not-progressing) vitiligo. It takes healthy pigment-making cells (melanocytes) and embeds them in depigmented areas.

This light therapy treatment is used by dermatologists in-office, often 2-3x/week or as your dermatologist recommends. It has a few different lights it can use, but exposes the depigmented areas to the recommended light to help stimulate pigment over time.

Steroid management

These topical steroids come in a range of strength from mild-strong, limited duration of use, and as either ointments or creams. The steroids change your immune system's response and reduce inflammation, allowing the melanocytes time to recover and repigment.

These oral/intravenous steroids (often called systemics) work within the body as opposed to absorption through your skin and have limited duration of use. They also suppress your immune system to help stabilize the condition, allowing the melanocytes time to recover.

Steroid-free management

This topical, steroid-free cream was made for at-home use to help regain pigment in nonsegmental vitiligo. By using a topical Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor to reduce inflammation underneath the skin, it gives the melanocytes time to recover and repigment.

These topical, steroid-free ointments or creams (TCIs, topical calcineurin inhibitors) vary in recommended usage, and may be used together with steroids. They help reduce inflammation by using calcineurin inhibitors to suppress your immune system, allowing the melanocytes time to recover and repigment.

Depigmentation Management Options

This depigmentation cream works by killing the melanocytes, giving a person an even skin tone through complete depigmentation. It is often only recommended for people with depigmented areas that are more than half of their body.

An informed conversation with your healthcare provider can help you choose the management option that best aligns with your unique goals. Learn more below about a potential management option and find out if it's right for you, along with resources for your next conversation.

RE:consider your journey