Home Skin CareVitiligo What are vitiligo causes and treatments, and Is vitiligo contagious?

What are vitiligo causes and treatments, and Is vitiligo contagious?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Do you not know what vitiligo is? Are you worried about catching it? Not sure exactly what it is due to? Please do not despair. First, you should know that although the cause of vitiligo is not well described, there is no possibility of contagion because, generally, its manifestation is associated with each person’s autoimmune and genetic factors. This disease usually occurs due to the loss of melanocytes, which are the cells in charge of giving pigmentation or color to the skin of our body.

For its diagnosis, it is enough with the patient’s physical examination. In this way, the doctor will be able to determine that this disease is present. Treatment usually includes topical corticosteroid drugs and the use of UV light. If you want to know more about this topic, we invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle in which we answer: ” Is vitiligo contagious? “.

What is vitiligo, and what are its causes

Before knowing more about whether vitiligo is contagious or not, you should know that this disease is nothing more than the localized loss of melanocytes, the cell group responsible for giving color or tone to your skin.

It is a rare disease that affects approximately 2% of the population. That is why we usually have doubts concerning it. It is generally defined as a chronic disease characterized by the presence of typically whitish spots of variable extension and an irregular border on the skin. The whitish spots or macules that usually appear result from the destruction of the melanocytes responsible for producing melanin.

It is common for these spots to be evident in the mouth, anus, armpits, areolas, genitals, knees, and elbows. It usually appears initially before the age of 20 (in at least 50% of cases), frequently, after a physical injury to the skin, either by sunburn or chemical and after an episode of stress.

Its cause is not well described but is usually associated with the autoimmune destruction of melanocytes. Our immune system attacks the cells that produce melanin. It can also be associated with a hereditary factor.

Is vitiligo contagious?

The lack of information about this disease in the majority of the population concerning its contagion worsens the psychological impact that the manifestation of the first signs and symptoms of vitiligo can represent for an adolescent.

This implies that this often represents a social stigma, especially in development in different work, social, family, and emotional areas.

Vitiligo manifests itself with well-defined and symmetrical hypopigmented or whitish spots; it is frequently observed on the face, fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, knees, armpits, genital area, and nipples.

Vitiligo is not spread from one person to another, nor does it imply a danger for those who suffer from it. However, it can lead to the person suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress according to the place of appearance and the size of the spots.

Vitiligo Diagnosis and Treatment

Indeed, you have already clarified your doubts about whether vitiligo is contagious; now, you should know that a medical evaluation with the naked eye will be enough to diagnose it. The dermatologist may also indicate the performance of some blood tests and the version of the test under Wood’s light that allows for diagnosing some skin pigmentation diseases.

There is no specific treatment for vitiligo, but topical corticosteroid creams are usually indicated in the affected area, phototherapy with UV light, anti-inflammatory medication, and immunomodulators responsible for stopping the destructive action of the immune system on the melanocytes themselves.

Other treatment modalities that are performed include:

  1. Laser treatment.
  2. The realization of tattoos in small areas to hide the spots.
  3. Surgery to place grafts from different regions of the body.
  4. The use of makeup to hide whitish spots.

Care in case of vitiligo

Unfortunately, after the loss of melanin, the skin will be unprotected against ultraviolet radiation, which implies that people suffering from vitiligo must increase their efforts to protect themselves from the effects of the sun by using photoprotective creams greater than 50 and appropriate clothing. Everything, when going to be in areas with more significant solar radiation (mountains or sea) and avoid artificial tanning booths.

Vitiligo is not dangerous for those who suffer from it. However, specialists recommend that any patient with signs or symptoms of vitiligo seek professional help to promptly improve this disease since currently available treatments are pretty satisfactory.

This disease cannot be prevented, but it usually improves spontaneously by 20% or with the use of specialized treatment:

  • Avoid stressful situations, as this is a common trigger for vitiligo.
  • Use sunscreen, especially in areas of the body that tend to tan and where the problem of hypopigmentation is more visible.
  • Take care of your skin daily.

Take on this disease and explain to the people around you that it is not a serious or contagious disease.


This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is vitiligo contagious? We recommend that you enter our category of Skin, hair, and nails.

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