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Does anyone on MN suffer from vitiligo?

(6 Posts)
JonesTheSteam Fri 29-Jul-05 10:09:51

Hi - just wondering because I've recently come to the conclusion that I have this condition.

When I was about 20 I went on holiday with some friends and had extremely bad sunburn - ever since then I have had white patches of skin, mostly over my arms and legs. I am quite pale anyway, so it's not really noticeable in the winter, but in the summer, it becomes more noticeable as the rest of me goes fairly brown.

Until recently, I just assumed that it was something to do with the sunburn, but I have noticed more patches appearing, especially if the skin in that area has suffered some sort of 'trauma' - for example I had a rash on the back of my hands when expecting dd and now have white patches there.

Is this something I need to go to the doctor about? Looking on the internet I've realised there is no cure anyway, so is there any point?

Thanks very much!!!!!

Nbg Fri 29-Jul-05 10:35:26

I've no advice JTS but just bumping this up for you.

JonesTheSteam Fri 29-Jul-05 10:41:41

Thanks nbg!!!!

Fran1 Fri 29-Jul-05 10:44:45

Hi i have vitiligo, you are right there are no cures. It is dead pigment, and so will never come back nor get a suntan. BUT it will burn badly as pigment is what protects your skin from the sun so you need sunblock( i've learnt the hard way!!)

My vitiligo was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago, nothing was done about it. My vitiligo comes up in areas where i have used steroid cream for my excema, but the skin expert i went to see 20 years ago said there was absolutely no link and just pure coincidence.

20 years on every new patch appears on areas i have used steroids so i disagree with that doc totally .

No real advice except, if it concerns you you can use specialist camouflage make up to cover up obvious areas.

JonesTheSteam Fri 29-Jul-05 10:54:29

Thanks Fran1.

I too have learnt the hard way and now wear very high SPF cream when I go out in the sun.


I'm lucky in that it isn't on my face apart from a little around my eyes (again from what I remember a part of me that burnt on that holiday!!!!) and I can more or less get away with covering it with foundation or concealer. I have quite a few patches on my legs, feet, arms, back, tummy (not that anyone sees that anyway - too many stretch marks!!!) and around my neck. It's not something that has every hugely bothered me, being quite pale anyway, and most of my friends know and understand that I have funny skin!!!!

I do feel quite self-conscious in the summer months though - especially when meeting new people - I'm sure some just think I'm just really bad at applying fake tan!!!!

Do you think there is any point going to see a doctor about it, even just to be diagnosed officially?

Fran1 Fri 29-Jul-05 14:55:00

I guess you could mention it when you next go and see what they say.

Times have moved on and they may have advice.

A friend of mine who is Asian gets it and of course with her skin being so much darker it is very obvious. Her GP referred her to a dermatologist and she was shown how she can use camouflage make up to cover it. (think she may have got the make up on prescription as well).

But as you say, if you're not worried about appearance, there is nothing that can be done anyway.

I am the same in the summer, i tan quite easily and i have it round my eyes and one dot on my forehead??? i notice people staring at that and also my elbows are totally white. I have just got used to it now!

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