Vitiligo is a condition that causes white patches to appear on areas of the skin. This may be confined to just one area of the body, may be on only one side of the body or may appear on areas all over the body. Patients who notice these white patches or other symptoms such as premature whitening of the hair, eyebrows or eyelashes should contact a medical specialist experienced in treating vitiligo.

When You Should Seek Treatment

Patients are encouraged to seek treatment upon noticing white patches on their skin. They may also experience whitening of the hair, eyebrows, eyelashes or iris as a result of vitiligo. As some believe vitiligo to be linked to autoimmune disorders, seeing a doctor right away is encouraged. The condition is embarrassing for many and may cause self-consciousness. Seeing a physician will also be helpful in learning of ways to make the white patches less noticeable.

The Clinic

When seeking a clinic, make sure that it is close to home. You don't want to have a lengthy car ride to look forward to after treatment or consultation, especially if you plan on repeat visits to the clinic. It's always good to have become familiar with a skincare professional who is relatively close by. Be sure that the staff is trained and knowledgeable about vitiligo. While the staff likely will not have the same level of knowledge of the condition as the doctor or skincare professional, they should be experienced in dealing with and treating skin conditions. The clinic should also be well-equipped. Avoid treatment at a clinic that uses outdated or improperly maintained equipment. Proven, well-maintained equipment and technology should be used to ensure safety throughout one's experience at the clinic.

The Specialist

You should be comfortable with the skincare professional you choose. You will likely be seeing him or her on multiple occasions so you'll want somebody you feel comfortable talking to and asking questions. Asking for references may also be helpful. It's a good way to judge the skincare professional's skill and talent level. Reading past reviews or speaking with patients who have seen the skincare professional may be helpful in determining if he or she is right for you. A vitiligo specialist may be a doctor, physician, dermatologist, nurse or any other trained professional. Diagnosis is best left to a trained physician, as they may perform certain tests to determine if an autoimmune disorder is present.