Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which pigment cells (melanocytes) are destroyed, resulting in irregularly shaped white patches on the skin.
Any part of the body may be affected. Common sites are exposed areas (face, neck, eyes, nostrils, nipples, navel, genitalia), body folds (armpits, groin), sites of injury (cuts, scrapes, burns) and around pigmented moles (halo naevi).
The hair may also go grey early on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and body. White hair is called ‘poliosis'. The retina may also be affected.
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