Vitiligo is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. It's caused by the lack of melanin, which is the pigment in skin. Vitiligo can affect any area of skin, but it commonly happens on the face, neck and hands, and in skin creases. Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning.
Vitiligo does not pose a serious threat to one's health, but it can result in physical complications, such as eye issues, hearing problems, and sunburn. People with vitiligo also tend to be more likely to have another autoimmune disease (like thyroid disorders and some types of anemia).
Treatment may improve the appearance of the skin but doesn't cure the disease.