Family Medicine pp 1050-1055 | Cite as

Selected Disorders of the Skin

  • Aubrey L. Knight


Vitiligo is an acquired loss of pigmentation and the most common cause of hypopigmentation. Histologically, the disorder is characterized by a lack of melanocytes in the epidermis. The pigment loss can be diffuse or localized. The incidence peaks between the ages of 10 and 30. The etiology of vitiligo is unknown, but it may be an autoimmune disorder with antibodies to melanocytes. There is a positive family history in 30% of cases. Vitiligo is thought to be more prevalent in dark-skinned individuals, but this may be due to easier recognition of the skin manifestations in dark-skinned persons. Vitiligo is associated with thyroid disorders in up to 30% of cases, and there are reported associations with alopecia areata, pernicious anemia, other autoimmune and endocrine disorders, and melanoma.


Hair Loss Lichen Planus Alopecia Areata Nail Plate Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Aubrey L. Knight

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