The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, for there are countless opinions, ideas and even contradictory research studies about the real causes. Some researchers have their opinion that it is an autoimmune disease, in which the human body’s immune system unexpectedly starts attacking some parts of the body. It is believed that the immune system starts attacking the melanocytes in the skin responsible for pigmentation. Moreover, this disease may have its roots in a person’s genetic makeup as well. Others are of the opinion that the melanocytes begin to destroy themselves. Many researchers say that sometimes some events, such as severe sunburn and emotional distress, can bring about this disease. However, there is no proof that these factors are actually responsible for causing vitiligo in any way.
Discolored patches on different sections of the skin are the major symptoms of vitiligo. Mostly, these patches are found on areas most exposed to the sun, such as the hands, feet, face, arms and lips. There are other areas where these white patches can be clearly observed:
Moreover, people who suffer from vitiligo have early gray hair as well. Sometimes, a loss of color inside the mouth is also observed.