Medical history and exam
If your doctor suspects you have vitiligo, he or she will ask about your medical history, examine you and try to rule out other medical problems, such as dermatitis or psoriasis. He or she may use a special lamp to shine ultraviolet light onto the skin to determine whether you have vitiligo.
Skin biopsy and blood draw
In addition to gathering your personal and family medical history and examining your skin, your doctor may:
- Take a small sample (biopsy) of the affected skin
- Draw blood for lab tests
Your doctor may recommend that you see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist), who may check for inflammation in your eye (uveitis). Your doctor may also suggest that you see a hearing specialist (audiologist) to undergo a hearing evaluation because people with vitiligo may have an increased risk of hearing loss.
May 15, 2014
- Goldstein BG, et al. Vitiligo. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Lebwohl MG, et al. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier, 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Whitton ME, et al. Interventions for vitiligo (review). Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003263.pub4/abstract. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Fleissig E, et al. Risk of sensorineural hearing loss in patients with vitiligo. Audiology and Neurotology. 2013;18:240.
- Silverberg JI, et al. Association between vitiligo extent and distribution and quality-of-life impairment. JAMA Dermatology. 2013;149:159.
- Valle Y, et al. Multidisciplinary approach to R&D in vitiligo, a neglected skin disease. Dermatologic Therapy 2013;25(suppl):1
- AskMayoExpert. Vitiligo (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Vitiligo. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/vitiligo. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Questions and answers about vitiligo. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Vitiligo/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens#.UbdQaJzm9lP. Accessed Jan. 6, 2014.
- Calcipotriene. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed Jan. 6, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.