I'm doing this because I hate how many people have no idea what this condition is and what it does, even though it is semi-rare. I want to raise peoples awareness about this condition!

I've had vitiligo since birth, but it was only a small spot on my lower belly. Since then it has spread alot in my belly and thighs.

Some insight on the condition if you have no idea what it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitiligo You might find something interesting about Michael Jackson's skin there too if you dig a bit deeper.

Proof: [Sorry my camera sucks] http://imgur.com/PrjMxQa

Edit: So many questions, thank you guys. It will take me a while to go through them so be patient please :)

Edit2: Taking a little break, I'll continue answering questions in an hour, I'll let you know when I'm back :) ok, im back

Edit3: It's impossible to answer to everyone since there's 40 new comments after I've answered 10..but I wanna say that appreciate all the kind words, and all the information that has been told. I'm learning alot of new stuff about the condition myself too.

I will keep reading these until I've read all of them, I might not answer to everyone but I will still read it. To everyone with vitiligo or any other disease that was mentioned: keep your head up! To everyone thats being all nice and giving information to others: thank you so much.

You guys made me feel a lot better about my self, I hope other people with it get this feeling too :)

After this I'm not even too sure if I will go see a dermatologist to get treatment. But if I will, the information you all have provided will be with me there to ask questions from him, so thank you!

Final edit: After 7 hours I think I'm finally through most of the comments..someone told me that I got to the front page of the whole reddit. Which means that I achieved my main goal: to raise awareness. A huge thank you to everyone with great questions, info and stories of their own.

I will of course still be reading through new comments, but I just edited this for the last time so people know I'm still alive here.

By the way if you are a vitiligo patient youself or just interested in it, feel free to PM me even after this. I don't mind talking to people. :)

Comments: 1464 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

virtualwolfnz596 karma

Hey man, I saw in some posts you didn't take your shirt off and stuff because of it.

Trust me bro when I say that most people don't care, I used to never wear shorts because i have it on my legs. After 17 I realized that most people don't care too much, sure some people have a little looksie...but hey it makes you different than everyone else.

Edit: 584 upvotes? Damn, I wasn't expecting that, the most I've ever had was around 20ish.

og-J265 karma

I think so too, and I'm trying to get used to it. So far it's just been impossible for me to not think about it. But I'm trying, and I hope one day I will be able to just ignore it totally.

I_NEED_MO_FUDGE360 karma

Do the de-pigmented areas still burn the same way pigmented skin would?

og-J397 karma

Yes - and much more easily! It is recommended for vitiligo patients to use sun tan lotion all the time when outside, but I think it's a bit exaggerated. My skin never burns, even though I spend lots of time outside exposed to sun at summer.


Wow, that's pretty interesting actually! Even if both areas of skin burn would the colour be different?

og-J59 karma

Could you clarify this question a bit? I don't get it. :)


when you get sunburn, would the de pigmented and pigmented skin be the same colour?

HollaHollaPeno119 karma

No, the depigmented section just turns red or pink. No melanin in the white skin to produce a tan

og-J91 karma

Thank you, I had no idea how to explain this but you did it right ;)

og-J48 karma

Incase both types of skin would burn, the de-pigmented area propably burns more badly. So the de-pigmented are would propably be more red for the time it is burnt, but would return back to white just like normal skin.

Soapiestlyric4267 karma

Wow, well TIL that one of my biology teachers back in high school had vitiligo on his hands. I always thought he had burned them somehow working with chemicals as science teachers do. Guess not. Does this condition affect your life in any dramatic way? Are things you can't do because of it?

og-J229 karma

All depends on how you take it yourself. I'm lucky since for now a t-shirt and shorts cover most of it, and no one ever notices it. But I don't go swimming to public places, neither do I take my shirt away at summer.

Basically anything that makes me take off clothes is so hard to do. You have no idea how much people can stare. :P

dasprot150 karma

I have the same condition. Only it spread to my forearms, legs and face.

Don't be ashamed of it. Those people who stare at you or make comments aren't worth knowing anyway. F*ck those people ;)

MattPH121852 karma

Yeah I have it on my hands, face, feet, and elbows. Most have it a lot worse than OP.

og-J44 karma

Very true. I'm definitely lucky to have it like this, mostly under clothes.

CapAnson195 karma

Do you think Michael Jackson really had the same thing? Or was he making up his condition?

og-J545 karma

Most people think Michael Jackson changed his skin color -in fact when he started getting vitiligo spots on his body, he used make-up to cover them. Unfortunately the vitiligo spread on his body was so large that eventually he didn't have much natural pigment left. This is when he changed the make-up so that he covered the natural-pigmented spots with 'white' make-up, and so he became entirely 'white-skinned'.

By the way, I'm sorry for my english guys..I hope you can understand.

CapAnson89 karma

Oh where are you from?

og-J250 karma

I'm from Finland. :)

BretticusWins117 karma

You have great English, don't worry about it :)

og-J91 karma

Thank you!

elephaggot36 karma

Katos perkele! :D

og-J37 karma

Hehe :)

VitiligoThrowaway188 karma

I too have Vitiligo bro, I had it since birth apparently, I noticed this white spot on my foot which started to grow bigger.

I now have a white spot under my eye, on my knee and my ankle.

I didnt think to make an AMA though haha.

I made this throwaway account because I have White marks on my Penis, alot little white spots, they look like tattoos which can grow haha.

Anyways, do you have that too on your penis or am I some sort of rare pornstar material?

Edit: Thanks for all the positive reactions, I too have it on my scrotum and some parts next to it, the hair grows white, but the same goes for my knee and all the other spots And about the relationship comments, thanks, my self esteem went up a little, even though I never had a girlfriend before, but now I know I'm safe just in case haha

og-J143 karma

Yeah I do have it on my penis too, but it's not small spots, for me its just an area covering a part of it all around. Doesn't look too bad luckily :)

Best of luck for you with your condition :)

jotr73 karma

Does the de-pigmented skin feel any different from the rest? By this I mean do subjective sensations feel different?

og-J111 karma

De-pigmented areas feel exactly the same as any other for me and everyone else. This condition causes purely visual harm. (And in some cases mental)

Jaksuhn28 karma

What do you mean by mental ?

og-J106 karma

I was wondering if mental is the right term, but whatever. :D

What I mean is that some people take it better than others. Some people hide their bodies from others for their whole lifetime because they are ashamed.

gggg_bb_bb_bb67 karma

Hey! I have this too! :D Fortunately it's going away thanks to my awesome dermatologist.

Do you get any treatments for it? I get my spots lasered, go tanning, and have a topical cream called Protopic. Tanning seems kinda counterintuitive, but it does help a lot.

og-J52 karma

Nice to meet someone with the same thing :)

I have only tried Protopic - didn't do the the thing for me, used it for 8 months.

Now I'm considering lasering. Which part of your treatment helped the most, and how expensive was the laser treatment? Also where do you live?

gggg_bb_bb_bb51 karma

Lasering has helped the most by far. I use the XTRAC laser treatment, which is also used for psoriasis. It's basically a super concentrated tan for the spots. I haven't been to the derm for a while, since I wanted to give my skin a break (it makes it SO ITCHY.) but it started working after only a couple of sessions!

It wasn't expensive at all. Insurance covers it :D I live in the States.

og-J32 karma

Did you go to take the treatments immediately when you first got the condition? The treatments work better the faster you take them.

So in my case I'm wondering, would laser help since some spots have been there for 5+ years.

DSEthno2332 karma

Not that uncommon buddy. I had it all over my face. After years of taking recolour, (a vitamin supplement) I look normal again. However, now that I have a beard some of my hair is pure white in some of the previously affected areas.

og-J25 karma

Yeah, unfortunately it affects hair too..but congratulations for beating it :)

Grn_blt_primo27 karma

My mother, uncle, and cousin all have this. I am 28 and so far have no signs of it. Does it affect your self confidence? My cousin has low self esteem because if it.

og-J28 karma

It is extremely hard to take my shirt off in front of anyone, or do anything that would make them see it.

This does restrict some things, but not too much.

Even if I have told someone about it and even explained where I have it, it is still extremely hard to show it to them actually.

About 30-40% of vitiligo cases are heritable.

kc_joe14 karma

I'm sorry to hear that. My mother suggest to me to wear mascara on my eye lashes (white because of vitilgo) but I have better success just telling peeps what it is. I understand that you're 16 and I'm 29 and there's a slight difference there, but be proud of your body and it's identification marks.

og-J6 karma

This goes to you and everybody else: thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it.

gymbunnywannaknow17 karma

How quickly does it spread for you?

og-J27 karma

Age 1-12 it didn't spread at all. Around thirteen years it rapidly spread for about 12 months, covering big chunks of mostly my belly and thighs, but there are also other small spots all around my body. Then it toned down again, for approximately 3 years, and now it seems like we're at it again. Within a few months it has developed a big spot on my right knee, and is starting to develop a similar one to the left leg too.

mariochickk14 karma

Do you have segmental or non segmental?

og-J23 karma

Non-segmental, unfortunately.

heart-cooks-brain27 karma

What is the difference?

og-J36 karma

To my knowledge segmental vitiligo only appears on one side of your body (left or right), for example only on your left leg. It usually spreads for approximately 1 year, and then stops.

Non-segmental makes you lose pigment pretty much everywhere, and usually spreads, stops spreading, starts again, stops, and so on for your whole lifetime.

Although, it is possible for vitiligo to just suddenly stop for good - it's even possible that all the patches will re-pigment automatically. Reasons are unknown..

Droseph8811 karma

Do you ever listen to Krizz Kaliko? He has the same condition and is an amazing singer/rapper/entertainer!

og-J5 karma

I remember the name, I have to check it out now :P