How is vitiligo diagnosed?

Usually the white patches are easily visible on the skin, but healthcare providers can use a Wood’s lamp, which shines ultraviolet (UV) light onto the skin to help differentiate from other skin conditions.

What other conditions resemble vitiligo?

There are other conditions that make the skin change or lose pigmentation. These include:

  • Chemical leukoderma: Exposure to some industrial chemicals cause damage to the skin cells, resulting in linear or splotchy white areas of skin
  • Tinea versicolor: This yeast infection can create dark spots that show on light skin, or light spots that show on darker skin.
  • Albinism: This genetic condition means that you have lower levels of melanin in the skin, hair and/or eyes.
  • Pityriasis alba: This condition starts off with red and scaly areas of skin, which fade into scaly lighter patches of skin.

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