How is Vitiligo Diagnosed?
Vitiligo presents in many different ways and there is no one test for vitiligo, so how do dermatologists diagnose this skin condition? Generally, it presents as loss of pigmentation in the skin but there are three types of vitiligo:
- Focal vitiligo is when there are just a few spots in one area of the face or body.
- Generalised vitiligo is the most common type; spots appear all over and are usually symmetrical.
- Segmental vitiligo is least common and there are patches on one side and nowhere else.
The hair can also be affected and white skin develop around moles.
What are the first signs of vitiligo?
Most people notice white patches appearing on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun – so commonly on the hands, feet, arms or face. Conversely, white patches can appear in the folds of the body such as the armpits, groin, genitals or rectum. It is also possible to notice a loss of colour inside the mouth.
How is vitiligo diagnosed?
For patients that are worried that areas of depigmentation might be a sign of vitiligo, we advise seeking confirmation from an experienced vitiligo practitioner. Our vitiligo expert at Wimpole Aesthetics, central London, is Dr Sanjeev Mulekar who is a specialist dermatologist with a keen interest in vitiligo treatment and any skin conditions which display as a loss of pigmentation.
If vitiligo is suspected from a physical examination, Dr Mulekar will investigate your medical and family history, particularly in relation to a rash, sunburn or skin trauma that could have triggered vitiligo.
A small biopsy might be taken of the affected skin – if there is a complete absence of pigment-producing melanocytes then vitiligo will be suspected. There are other skin conditions that will need to be ruled out. Blood samples might also be taken to test your blood cell count, thyroid function and levels of antibodies.
Dr Mulekar will be seeing vitiligo patients at Wimpole Aesthetics in May. However, if you have any queries regarding Dr Mulekar and the treatment he offers, get in touch with one of the team on 02072242247 now and we can address these with Dr Mulekar’s help.