Vitiligo also known as leucoderma, simply means white (leuco), skin (derma); i.e. a disorder where removal the skin loses its normal color. The typical appearance of vitiligo is milky white de-pigmented spots. It has a tendency to start as a single spot and gradually grow in size and number. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color. Vitiligo is caused by a loss of pigment in the skin, due to destruction of pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes. Patients who are stigmatized for their condition may experience depression and similar mood disorders.
The actual causes of vitiligo are not completely known and are still to be explored. Children whose parents have the disorder are more likely to develop vitiligo. People with leukoderma may have premature graying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard.