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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Child with white hair and white patches on head. Are these symptoms of vitiligo?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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My son is 3 years old and is having white hairs (around 30 numbers) and white patches on his head. White hairs are only on those places where white hairs are there. I have visited a dermatologist and he said that it is vitiligo while the other one said it is not. Am confused now ..
Tue, 22 Jan 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 24 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

White hairs with whitening of underlying skin are typically seen in vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition where there is death of melanocytes in the skin, these melanocytes are responsible for production of the brown pigment called Melanin which impart brown or black colour to the skin and to the hairs too. In their absence the skin turns white and if the skin bearing hair is involved, greying of the hair is noticed.

I would ask you to get some tests to rule out the diagnosis, like:
1) Examination of the white spots under Wood's lamp
2) Skin biopsy (from the white spots)
3) Blood test to estimate Thyroid hormone and Vitamin B12 levels also to determine XXXXXXX (Antinuclear Antibodies) as they are most commonly associated with vitiligo.

The above tests will help to be sure of the diagnosis and also provide insights to design a treatment. Your current treating doctor / pediatrician can tailor the aforementioned tests.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child with white hair and white patches on head. Are these symptoms of vitiligo? 16 minutes later
Thanks Doc !

Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 13 minutes later
You are welcome.

Thanks for using this service.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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