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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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Posted by: Patricia
Date: January 4, 2001 5:51 PM

I have been asked to research an illness called Vitiligo. It is supposed to be a liver condition which causes altered skin pigmentation. My friend who lives in South Africa has a 10 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with this disease. I need to know etiology and treatment if any.

RE: Vertiligo
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: January 5, 2001 12:56 AM

Vitiligo is a skin condition of unknown cause in which the normal pigment is lost through disappearance of the melanocytes, the cells containing melanin which disperse in response to sun exposure and produce a tan. It can affect any part of the body and produces patchy areas of depigmentation. It has a higher incidence in family members of a person with the condition. There is no known treatment except cosmetic procedures which produce depigmentation throughout the area affected so the border between affected and unaffected areas disappears. I have read somewhere that Michael Jackson, the singer, had this procedure on his face to help with his vitiligo problem. Theories of cause center in two areas: viral infection and autoimmune disease.

RE: Vertiligo
Posted by: Patricia
Date: January 5, 2001 2:22 AM

Dear Doctor Kennedy,

Thank you for your reply. I am embarrassed to see that I had the wrong spelling. I appreciate the information and will pass it on to my friend.



This Thread has been closed


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