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Vitiligo usually begins with a few small lighter patches that develop on the skin. These patches may stay the same size for years or grow larger. New patches can appear on the skin. People of any skin color can develop vitiligo.

There’s no way to predict how much color someone’s skin will lose. There’s also no way to know who will have patches that get larger or where new patches will appear.

What you see when vitiligo begins is also affected by the type of vitiligo you have. The most common type is non-segmental vitiligo, it tends to appear on both sides of the body like both knees or both hands.

While vitiligo cannot be cured, treatment may restore lost skin color. When it comes to stopping the spread, sun protection is also extremely important. Skin with vitiligo burns easily, as there is no pigment to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. A bad sunburn can worsen vitiligo.

There is currently no way to prevent vitiligo. If you see light-coloured spots or patches on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can tell you whether you have vitiligo or another medical condition.  If you have vitiligo, the sooner vitiligo treatment starts, the more effective it tends to be. Left untreated for years, vitiligo may be difficult to treat.