A visual guide to 6 conditions that cause skin discoloration

Doctor or nurse checking the veins in a womans wrist

Vitiligo is not the only disease that causes skin to change color.

Here are a few conditions and what they look like, including vitiligo.

Is it Vitiligo or something else?

An artist's rendering of vitiligo on pale skin

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that causes your skin to lose color, often resulting in white patches on your skin that cover both sides of your body.

An artist's rendering of pityriasis alba on pale skin

Pityriasis alba is a common skin disorder that causes areas of light-colored skin. The spots often start as slightly red, scaly patches on the face, upper arms, neck, and upper middle section of the body.

An artist's rendering of tinea versicolor on pale skin

Tinea versicolor is caused by a fungal infection and leads to patches of discolored skin with a fine, dry, scaly surface.

An artist's rendering of Hanson's disease on pale skin

Hansen’s disease (leprosy) is a bacterial infection that can also cause discolored patches of skin. Usually these patches are flat, look faded, and may even feel numb.

An artist's rendering of scleroderma on pale skin

Scleroderma is a rare but serious autoimmune disease that causes parts of the skin to harden. Often those areas can appear shiny. It can also create problems with connective tissue beneath the skin, harming blood vessels and internal organs.

An artist's rendering of Addison disease on pale skin

Addison disease happens when the body doesn’t produce enough cortisol, a hormone that regulates stress. One symptom of the disease is darkening of the skin in places like scars, skin folds, elbows, knees, and knuckles.

Talk to your health care provider if you think you might have vitiligo or another skin condition.

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