To the Editor: White patches of skin and gray hair occur in people with vitiligo because the pigment cells, melanocytes, are destroyed in skin and hair follicles. A combination of immunologic and cytotoxic mechanisms produces this loss of melanocytes. The prevalence of vitiligo is high in patients with disorders of autoimmunity such as hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, adrenal insufficiency and pernicious anemia. In addition, patients with melanomas who have strong immunity against malignant melanocytes frequently have vitiligo. One fascinating aspect about the subject is that no matter how extensive the pigment loss and how great the duration of loss, the color. . .
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