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When to Seek Medical Care
If an area of pigment loss becomes apparent, it would seem prudent for any patient to have the diagnosis of vitiligo confirmed by a physician. In a minority of patients, vitiligo is associated with a variety of serious systemic diseases, many of which have an autoimmune origin. A complete history, physical examination, and possibly laboratory testing is necessary to rule out the presence of these complicating conditions. It should be born in mind that treatment of such conditions is unlikely to have any effect on the course of vitiligo. When vitiligo develops in certain individuals, there can be a severely deleterious effect on their sense of well-being. It is vital that efforts be made to treat the condition itself as well as the associated psychological factors that can occur in severely affected patients.
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