3 Early Signs Of Vitiligo: When At-Home Remedies Aren’t Enough

  • Dermatology
  • dermatology - vitiligo
  • September 7, 2023

Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that causes skin pigmentation. People should understand the early signs and when to try at-home remedies.

What Is Vitiligo?

Leukoderma, or vitiligo, is a condition characterized by the loss of pigmentation in the skin. In other words, a person’s skin may start to look colorless in specific areas, leading to a patchy appearance. Most people who experience vitiligo have no other symptoms of the condition besides the loss of color in the complexion. Do at-home remedies work for this condition? Consider these 3 early signs and when to see a dermatologist.


1. Pink turning to white

In the early stages, vitiligo is often more noticeable in patients with a darker complexion, since there is more contrast between natural skin color and discolored patches. Before the spots turn white, the areas may start as pink patches on the skin. Patches can appear anywhere on the body, but most people notice vitiligo on the hands, feet, arms, or face. Vitiligo is most likely to appear on body parts that have been exposed to sunlight.

2. Skin changes linked to stress

Since vitiligo is an autoimmune condition, specific triggers will often worsen the symptoms. For example, many people notice that skin worsens with stress. This can be challenging since the disease can result in physical appearances that may cause emotional distress. Many people with vitiligo may find talk therapy or support groups helpful to learn new coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.

3. Early graying

Since vitiligo causes a loss of pigmentation, early graying is another early symptom to watch for. This could translate to a loss of pigmentation in the hair, including the eyebrows or eyelashes. People may also notice a loss of color inside the mouth or in the retina of the eye.

Do at-home remedies work?

Vitiligo is more treatable when identified early. However, there is no way to reverse the condition. Treatment often focuses on identifying and avoiding triggers. In the early stages, applying a corticosteroid cream to affected areas may help. Patients may also focus on lowering inflammation by taking certain medications. Protecting against the sun, finding the right concealer or makeup, and avoiding tattoos are additional ways to prevent vitiligo from worsening.

Professional treatment options

Dermatologists can offer a variety of options to improve the appearance of skin. Light therapy or depigmentation may work to even out skin tone. Some steroid medications may slow the progression of the disease. Doctors may also offer skin grafting or other surgical procedures if the condition has progressed enough and the patient desires this treatment.

Long-term management

The loss of pigmentation is not reversible, but treatment options are available. Many patients with vitiligo experience a decrease in confidence and emotional distress. Although at-home treatments may work, getting treatment from a dermatologist is the best idea for long-term management of the condition.

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