Living With Vitiligo
Can sunburn cause vitiligo?
While the official cause of vitiligo isn’t known, some doctors theorize that sunburn could be a trigger. Having vtiligo does make you more vulnerable to sunburn, however. Exposing skin to sunlight produces the pigment melanin, which protects skin from ultraviolet light. Because having vitiligo means you lack ample melanin in your skin, you’re left with less sun protection than the average person—especially if your skin is fair. That’s why it’s vital that people with vitiligo use broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 and above.
Keep in mind that avoiding the sun has benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, keeping your skin from tanning can make the vitiligo less noticeable. On the other, sunlight is the best source for Vitamin D, which contributes to bone and teeth health. People who avoid the sun should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.