Vitiligo

What Causes Vitiligo?

In order to hopefully treat and prevent recurrence of vitiligo we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow vitiligo to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind vitiligo consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to vitiligo.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Autoimmune Tendency
  • Megaloblastic Anemia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
high serum iron
macrocytic red cells
pernicious anemia, no longer treated
reduced sense of smell
history of folic acid deficiency
... and so on

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of vitiligo:
Cause Probability Status
Megaloblastic Anemia 95% Confirm
Autoimmune Tendency 69% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Existing Skin Conditions section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about vitiligo:
Do you have Vitiligo (patches of depigmented/lighter skin)?
Possible responses:
→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of vitiligo or vitiligo, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Megaloblastic Anemia / Pernicious Anemia

There is a particularly high incidence of vitiligo among individuals with pernicious anemia, and vice versa.  The reason for this is unknown.

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