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How does physical exercise cause the white patches in vitiligo to spread?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
While physical and emotional stress may cause vitiligo to spread, regular physical exercise does not appear to be a vitiligo trigger.

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which white patches appear on the skin. Doctors do not know why these depigmented patches occur or what makes them spread. It is thought that physical or emotional stress may play some role in triggering vitiligo or causing the depigmented patches to spread.

When you do exercise, it's important to avoid midday sun and wear a protective sunscreen and clothing that covers the patches of white skin. Ask your doctor about the sun protection factor (SPF) that's necessary to protect the depigmented patches. If you do tan, the depigmented areas of skin will be even more noticeable.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.