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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2011 February;146(1):69-75

Copyright © 2011 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Vitiligo: current medical and scientific understanding

Boissy R. E. 1, Nordlund J. J. 2

1 Department of Dermatology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA; 2 Department of Dermatology, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University Dayton, Ohio and Group Health Associates Cincinnati, OH, USA


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Vitiligo is a relatively common acquired skin depigmentary disease with a complex presentation, therapy, and etiology. Both the prognosis and therapeutic response for patients with vitiligo is unpredictable. Multiple current therapies exist however the efficacy of these are not optimal. The cause of vitiligo appears to be a combination of genetic effects in both the immune system and the melanocyte itself with a precipitating factor instigating their interaction and resulting in the melanocyte destruction. Headway is being made in understanding the etiology of vitiligo that should culminate in new and improved therapies.

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