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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 17524
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I began to develop light spots in my skin about 2-3 years

Customer Question

I began to develop light spots in my skin about 2-3 years ago. They are not completely white, but only look like fading color. The spots haven't gotten any lighter, but they are on my arms, legs, thighs and one spot on my back. I had one doctor tell me
it's pityriasis alba, another to tell me it's tinea versicolor, another to tell me I have eczema and the last one diagnosed me with vitiligo. I've seen pictures of vitiligo and my lesions don't look like that. They look more like pityriasis. Does vitiligo
take years to completely turn white? Also, my 13 year old son has grey hair, and the dermatologist diagnosed me with vitiligo based upon that. Is it possible that it could be something other than vitiligo?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

The rate of progression of vitiligo can be very unpredictable, so it is possible that it could take years to become completely white. It is possible that it could be something other than vitiligo, but of the common conditions that cause white patches, the vitiligo is common to occur in familial clusters.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by familial clusters?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

There are many cases of vitiligo that occur randomly, but between 1/3 and 1/2 occur in people with close family members that are also affected, which we refer to as familial clusters, because there is a cluster of cases within a family.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh. Okay. But I don't know that my son has vitiligo. He just has several grey hairs sprinkled throughout his hair...
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

I understand that, and I am not saying that he definitely does, but this may be a manifestation of vitiligo. While the loss of pigment in skin will result in a white patch, the loss of pigment in hair will appear as grey hairs. There are other possible causes of grey hair in adolescents, but it is possible that both of you are having manifestations in different parts of the body.