Definition of vitiligo in US English:



  • A condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches, often with no clear cause.

    Also called leucoderma
    • ‘For 15 years she has had symmetrical patches of vitiligo on her hands, elbows, hips, and neck.’
    • ‘In a small group of patients with apparently non-spreading vitiligo, the surgical transfer of skin from normal to white areas can mask affected skin.’
    • ‘These patches are frequently confused with vitiligo or leucoderma, in which the patches are usually larger and have well defined convex borders, sometimes with a rim of hyper or increased pigmentation.’
    • ‘Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families: Your grandmother might have rheumatoid arthritis, a cousin, vitiligo, and an aunt, sarcoidosis.’
    • ‘Leucoderma or vitiligo is a common disease and affects almost three to four per cent of the population.’


Late 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘tetter’.