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Child lips are becoming too pinkish with dark skin on surface. Father has vitiligo. Is it vitiligo?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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My daughter is 9yrs old and her lips are becoming too pinkish looks like pale and on only on surfaces she has dark skin, I am worried much that is it a sign of vitiligo because my husband has vitiligo from past 2yrs. Kindly help

Posted Mon, 28 Oct 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes. 30 % run in families. Need biopsy to confirm.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to XXXXXXX
Thanks for your query.

I have gone through your query and understand your concern.

Yes, it may be a vitiligo.
Because 30% of the vitiligo run in families.
One of the common site is lip ( mucous membrane of lips)
We can easily diagnose it by physical examination. It is usually found in sun exposed areas.

But there are some other causes for depigmentation like infection, repeated trauma in lips.
My advise is to do small biopsy in the lip and microscopic examination of the tissue.
If the specimen shows complete absence of pigment-producing melanocytes.

The presence of inflamed cells in the sample may suggest the conditions responsible for the loss of pigmentation like infection or trauma.

Some people with Vitiligo may have auto immune disorders.
Thus check for Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficency), Hyperthyrodism (Check for Thyroid hormones and TSH), Uveitis ( inflammation of part of the eye-Eye examination is needed to confirm).

Presence of vitiligo does not harm medically. But it may cause emotional stress in life. As a female, she definitely needs treatment at least for cosmetic purpose.

If the biopsy confirms the Vitiligo, then go for Topical steroid ointment under the guidance of your local Dermatologist. Steroids are first line treatment in the early stage and it is recommend for children with vitiligo.
Topical Steroids would be given for 3 to 6 months.

If the vitiligo is still present, then consider for UV therapy.
It would be given in hospitals or clinic.
Thus she have to visit 2 to 3 times per week for many weeks depending on the response.
Because each patient responds differently to therapy, and a particular treatment may not work for everyone.

Hope this helps.
Please reply for further queries.
Wishing her good health.
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