Login Here

Health Implications

  • I have heard that vitiligo is a symptom of other internal problems.

    There is a slightly increased risk of people with vitiligo developing other 'autoimmune'™ conditions such as thyroid problems, alopecia, or pernicious anaemia. However, the risk is actually quite small.

     

    The important thing to remember is that the general health of people with vitiligo is not affected by their condition, although it is important to take precautions in the sun.

  • Why did my doctor ask about other conditions in my family?

    Vitiligo is sometimes seen in people with autoimmune disorders such as late-developing diabetes, thyroid conditions, pernicious anaemia and alopecia. Asking about these other problems may help the doctor to diagnose your skin condition.

     

    It is possible that one family member may have a thyroid problem and another may have vitiligo. These conditions can have related causes, but having one condition does not give you another one.

  • Why did my doctor suggest that I have a thyroid test?

    This is a precaution, because it has been found that people with vitiligo sometimes develop thyroid problems. A thyroid function test will enable your doctor to find any problems early on. These can be treated before any other symptoms appear.

     

    The important thing to remember is that the general health of people with vitiligo is not affected by their condition, although it is important to take precautions in the sun.

  • Are people with vitiligo more prone to skin cancer?

    There is no evidence for this. In fact, recent research suggests that vitiligo skin may be less prone to skin cancer.

    However, people with vitiligo are usually more vulnerable to sunburn; sunburn increases the risk of cancer. You need to:

    • Use an effective sunblock or sunscreen product, with UVA protection of at least 4 stars and a Skin Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.
    • Wear suitable clothing, ie long sleeves, sunhat and sunglasses, to protect yourself.

    More information on suncare is available HERE