Author(s): N. Mariappan1
INTRODUCTION: Vitiligo is a common, genetic, autoimmune disease in which there is loss of
pigment from areas of the skin resulting in irregular white spots or patches. The skin has normal
texture. Vitiligo may appear at any age. People with generalized vitiligo are thought to have
otherwise healthy immune system except for the specific immune response to the melanocyte.
Vitiligo is non-contagious. It is a result of a combination of genetic, immunologic,
biochemical and neurogenic factors. The psychological and social effects of vitiligo are well
documented. Mucosal vitiligo can occur as a part of generalized vitiligo or as an isolated
Lip involvement is a common feature in dark skinned vitiligo patients with a reported
incidence to vary between 20 to 50%. Most commonly, vitiligo involves the vermillion and spares
the wet labial mucosa. An inverse pattern of involvement also occurs uncommonly. Involvement
of only the most lateral part of the lip is also an uncommon presentation.
In acrofacial subtype of vitiligo, there is atypical involvement of the lips. Herpes induced
isomorphic or Koebnerization can lead to lip vitiligo. Involvement of mucosa is considered to be
an indicator of poor prognostic factor. Vitiligo surgery is recommended for selected, resistant
vitiligo patches in patients with vitiligo.