Diagnosis

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 to look for underlying autoimmune conditions, such as anemia or diabetes
May 18, 2017
References
  1. Grimes PE. Vitiligo: Management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  2. Lebwohl MG, et al. Vitiligo. In: Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  3. Felsten LM, et al. Vitiligo: A comprehensive overview. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2011;65:493.
  4. Whitton ME, et al. Interventions for vitiligo (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/view/0/index.html for link to abstract online. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  5. Fleissig E, et al. Risk of sensorineural hearing loss in patients with vitiligo. Audiology and Neurotology. 2013;18:240.
  6. Craiglow BG, et al. Tofacitinib citrate for the treatment of vitiligo: A pathogenesis-directed therapy. JAMA Dermatology. 2015;151:1110.
  7. Ezzedine K, et al. Interventions for vitiligo. JAMA. 2016;316:1708.
  8. AskMayoExpert. Vitiligo. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  9. Vitiligo. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/vitiligo. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  10. 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 Feb. 1, 2017.