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Is vitiligo serious?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

How serious vitiligo is depends partly on how someone with the condition reacts to it, as well as whether the person is careful about sun exposure. Some people feel anxious or depressed about their changing appearance; if the depression or anxiety does not go away, the person should seek counseling or support from a group, family, or friends.

The lighter skin patches produced by the lack of melanin are more sensitive to the sun. These patches can easily get sunburned. Over time, it is possible for these patches to develop skin cancer, so it is important for people with vitiligo to limit their sun exposure and use sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses.

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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.