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Vitiligo Symptoms and Signs
Classical vitiligo can begin anytime after birth and often appears as a white spot without other symptoms on a background of normally pigmented skin. The only detectable change in affected areas is the loss of color, which can begin with lightening but will progress to complete loss of color. If vitiligo involves hair-bearing areas, it is not unusual to note the development of gray, pigment-free hair growing from involved follicles. There may be one or more of these patches that may gradually enlarge and rarely progress to involve the entire skin surface.
There are clinical subtypes of vitiligo that extend in a linear fashion down an entire limb (segmental vitiligo). Vitiligo often involves the genitalia and is predisposed to appear in areas of previous skin trauma. Obviously, completely depigmented skin can be much more cosmetically significant in those with racially darker pigmentation. Skin affected by vitiligo is particularly susceptible to sunburn and photo-damage.
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