What causes vitiligo?
“The true cause of vitiligo is not fully understood,” says Bickerstaffe. However, some believe it’s an autoimmune response – where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells.
“Many think it’s a disease where the body destroys its own melanocytes [cells that produce melanin, skin’s colour pigment] with antibodies,” explains Bickerstaffe. “When this happens, the skin can’t make melanin properly and it leaves the person with vitiligo.”
Patches tend to appear most in areas that have been exposed to the sun, though this isn’t always the case.