Question: Who gets vitiligo?
Answer: Doctors cannot predict who will get vitiligo. Only 1% of the population has vitiligo. It most often starts around the age of 20 but vitiligo can start at any age. Vitiligo occurs equally in males and females. People of any race or ethnicity can get vitiligo but it is most noticeable in those with darker skin.
People with other autoimmune disorders like hyperthyroidism may be at increased risk of vitiligo, however most people with vitiligo do not have any other autoimmune conditions. Vitiligo may be caused by genetics so people with a family history of vitiligo are at increased risk. One-fifth of people with vitiligo know of a family member who had or has vitiligo.
Typically, the condition progresses with time and most people with vitiligo have it the rest of their lives. Rarely, patches can go away on their own. People who have vitiligo are likely to get more patches. Skin abrasions, sun and chemical exposures, emotional distress, and physical immune responses to viruses can cause new patches to develop.