Cause vitiligo

What causes vitiligo?

In these pages we are offering various information on the topic of vitiligo, in a linear path that touches the various main aspects of the disease.
We have seen what Vitiligo is and how Vitiligo is diagnosed. Now let’s talk about the causes of Vitiligo.

What are the causes?

Vitiligo Causes:

basically the cause is the lack of a pigment called melanin.

This pigment is what gives our natural color to the skin and is produced by melanocytes.

Having a lack of melanin obviously leads to depigmentation which manifests itself with the “classic” white spots in the different areas of our body.

If on the one hand we know that the lack of this pigment causes Vitiligo, on the other hand we do not yet know why this occurs.

So what is the origin of Vitiligo?

So what is the origin of Vitiligo

No one is currently able to give a precise answer, but there is nevertheless some evidence to take into consideration.

Certainly the suspicion of the causes of Vitiligo fall on autoimmune or hereditary factors (genetic predisposition).

In fact it is often documented between people belonging to the same family. Parents, siblings, relatives.

It is assumed that these factors can trigger or promote the onset of Vitiligo, as well as metabolic problems or stressful events.

Let’s see them in detail.

Autoimmune factors

By autoimmune factor we mean an “incorrect” response of the immune system which, feeling attacked, attacks the cells of its own body.
In this case the melanocytes, which as we have seen produce melanin.

Autoimmune factors are indicated as a possible cause of Vitiligo, because other autoimmune diseases have been found in 20% of those affected.

For example, autoimmune thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, or pernicious anemia.

Other metabolic factors

Vitiligo further causes: metabolic factors.

A second hypothesis of the cause of Vitiligo concerns the metabolism. We are talking, for example, of oxidative stress and the accumulation of free radicals and hydrogen peroxide.
These factors are presumed to have negative interference with melanin.

Those affected by Vitiligo are in some cases people suffering from metabolic disorders and endocrine glands. Due to a lack of the tyrosinase enzyme, which neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide itself. The latter, as we have just seen, is presumed to have negative influences on the production of melanin.

Stressful Events

Causes Vitiligo: sources of stress.

Stressful events could also be activators of the pathology.
As for the other two causes, also in this case the triggering factor falls within the field of plausible hypotheses.

When we talk about stressful events we are referring for example to accidents, traumas or difficult pregnancies. That fall into the field of psychological stress, directly or indirectly. Or again, speaking of physical stress, we can have skin damage that leads to burns and, finally, contact with toxic chemicals.


If you want to know more about the diagnosis, causes and definition of Vitiligo, click on the related links:

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