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Lancet. 2015 Jul 4;386(9988):74-84. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60763-7. Epub 2015 Jan 15.


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Department of Dermatology and Paediatric Dermatology, National Centre for Rare Skin disorders, Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale. U1035, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France. Electronic address:
Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
Department of Dermatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.


Vitiligo, an acquired pigmentary disorder of unknown origin, is the most frequent cause of depigmentation worldwide, with an estimated prevalence of 1%. The disorder can be psychologically devastating and stigmatising, especially in dark skinned individuals. Vitiligo is clinically characterised by the development of white macules due to the loss of functioning melanocytes in the skin or hair, or both. Two forms of the disease are well recognised: segmental and non-segmental vitiligo (the commonest form). To distinguish between these two forms is of prime importance because therapeutic options and prognosis are quite different. The importance of early treatment and understanding of the profound psychosocial effect of vitiligo will be emphasised throughout this Seminar.

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