The term “vitiligo” has been derived from the Latin word “vitelius” which means calf. This term was first used by a Roman physician named Celsus in the 2nd century A.D. Vitiligo has long been confused with leprosy but the earliest information regarding this disease has been obtained from “Tarikh-e-tibbe-iran” during the period of Aushooryan (2200 BC). More information has been obtained from Ebers Papyrus (1500 B.C) in which two types of pigmentary loss, vitiligo and leprosy have been distinguished. In another book “Atharva Veda” dating to 1400 B.C. the condition “shweta kustha” was referred to as vitiligo.
Vitiligo was not very commonly discussed before the 1990’s when it sprung into the spotlight because of the celebrities like Michael Jackson and Amitabh Bachan getting affected. Everyone has his/her own story of vitiligo. How he/she got affected and how he/she was treated.
Vitiligo is a skin disease that is characterized by irregular white patches or blotches on skin which can appear on any part of the body. These white patches are result of destruction of pigment producing cells called melanocytes. This disease usually starts with a small white spot and spread to different parts of the body. In some cases size of those white patches may also increase. Vitiligo is not dangerous and it causes no harm but is unacceptable because of cosmetic factors.