Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition that can affect children, causing a loss of pigment in certain areas of their skin. This happens when melanocytes, the cells producing the pigment that colors the skin, hair, and eyes, become dysfunctional or are destroyed, leading to patches of white skin.

Key features

Patches of Depigmented Skin

The main symptom is the appearance of white patches. These can develop anywhere but are commonly found on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, hands, and arms, as well as around body openings like the mouth and eyes.

Hair and eye involvement

Besides the skin, vitiligo can cause the hair (including eyebrows) to turn white or gray. Rarely, the color of the eyes may change.

Symmetrical patterns

Often, if a patch appears on one side of the body, a similar patch might develop on the opposite side.

Emotional impact

Children may feel self-conscious or upset about the appearance of the patches, leading to lowered self-esteem or emotional distress. Encouraging a supportive environment is crucial.

Variable progression

Some children may quickly develop more patches, while in others, the progression is slow. Occasionally, the patches might regain color.


These can help reduce inflammation and restore some color to the skin. They’re especially effective on smaller patches.

Targeted laser therapy might be suitable for small patches of vitiligo.

Such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus can be used on the face and other sensitive areas as they don’t thin the skin like steroids.

Using ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) light can be effective, especially for widespread vitiligo. However, for children, the therapy’s duration and frequency need to be carefully monitored.

JAK inhibitors cream, like Opzelura, is designed to modulate inflammatory proteins linked with vitiligo.


Here are some recommendations for managing vitiligo:

Children’s skin is sensitive. Ensure they wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and hats when outside. Avoiding peak sun hours is also beneficial.

Encourage activities that help your child relax and feel happy. Regular family activities or hobbies can be beneficial.

There are child-friendly cosmetics designed to cover the patches temporarily, which can be especially helpful for older kids concerned about their appearance.

Encourage a balanced diet and physical activities, which, while not directly curing vitiligo, contribute to overall wellness.

Keeping your child’s skin moisturized can prevent dryness and reduce itching.

Teach your child about vitiligo in a child-friendly manner. This knowledge can empower them and reduce feelings of confusion or fear.

It can be beneficial for children to connect with peers who have vitiligo. It helps them feel less isolated and offers an outlet to express their feelings.

Maintaining open communication with your child’s pediatric dermatologist is essential. Each child is unique, and treatments might need adjustments over time. Above all, fostering a loving and supportive environment helps children with vitiligo build confidence and resilience.