Vitiligo also known as leucoderma is a skin condition that causes the skin to lose colour and consequently develop white patches. There are no other painful or inflammatory symptoms but the way vitiligo mars the appearance of skin can be distressing. The colour of the skin is lost in blotches and the rate of this colour loss is quite unpredictable. Vitiligo can affect skin on any part of the body and may also affect hair, eyes and inside of mouth. This is not a contagious or malignant skin disorder.


Vitiligo causes colour loss from skin. It makes the skin light coloured in certain areas or causes white patches that look very different from the normal colour of your skin on rest of the body. This discolouration usually shows first on hands, legs, face, and lips – the areas that are exposed directly to the sun.

Other signs of vitiligo include:

  • Premature (before the age of 35 years) whitening or greying of hair on scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, and/or beard
  • Colour loss in the tissues that line the inside of mouth and nose
  • Colour loss or changes in colour of eyeball’s inner layer (retina)

Surgical Therapies

Surgical therapies can be used for areas of stable vitiligo.The most important factors indicating stability are as follows:

  • No progression of lesions for at least 2 years
  • Spontaneous repigmentation indicates vitiligo inactivity
  • Absence of new koebnerization, including the donor site for the minigrafting test
  • Unilateral vitiligo most stable form of vitiligo
  • A positive minigrafting test disclosing repigmentation at 4-5 minigrafts, which, to date, is the most accurate evidence of vitiligo stability.
  • May be an option when light therapy and medicines applied to the skin do not work.