Vitiligo services offered in Rockville, MD

About Vitiligo

As many as 2.8 million Americans develop vitiligo, causing the progressive loss of pigment cells in their skin. While the condition doesn’t go away, the board-certified dermatologists provide innovative treatments at Shady Grove Dermatology to even out skin tone or restore some color. Contact the team at their Rockville, Maryland, office or book an appointment through the online scheduler today.

Vitiligo Q&A

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin condition that occurs when cells that produce pigment (melanocytes) die or cease to function properly, causing lighter-colored patches of skin. While research is still uncovering a precise cause, it may be due to:

  • A disordered immune system
  • Heredity
  • Triggers like stress, severe sun damage, or skin trauma like a chemical burn

Frequent exposure to phenol-containing chemicals like detergents may make it more likely to develop vitiligo.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo can occur at any time of life but generally appears before 30. The signs include loss of color on the face, hands, and genitals. You may also notice your eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, or scalp hair turning prematurely white or gray or losing color inside the mouth and nose.

Depending on whether you have generalized or segmented vitiligo, these patches may appear across the body or on only one side or part.

How is vitiligo treated?

The Shady Grove Dermatology team thoroughly evaluates your skin and personalizes your treatment plan based on factors like your age and lifestyle, how quickly your vitiligo is progressing, and how much skin is impacted.

Your dermatologist can recommend skin care products as a first step and then discuss medications or therapies.


In the early stages of the condition, a corticosteroid cream might return some color to affected areas. While this approach is simple, it may not produce results for several months. Corticosteroid injections or pills may be more effective if the vitiligo is progressing rapidly.


Phototherapy (light therapy) can slow or stop vitiligo from progressing and may work better in conjunction with some medications. Treatment requires two to three sessions per week, and changes may not be evident for several months. The full effect usually takes six months or longer.

How can I protect my skin when I have vitiligo?

Caring for your skin is important. Use sunscreen, wear clothing that protects your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays, and avoid sunlamps or tanning beds. Avoid getting any new tattoos, as they can cause new patches of vitiligo.

To learn more about the comprehensive vitiligo care available at Shady Grove Dermatology, call the office or book your consultation online today.