Chemical-Induced Vitiligo

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology; UMass Metabolic Network



Document Type



Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Dermatology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Chemical-induced depigmentation of the skin has been recognized for more than 75 years, first as an occupational hazard but then extending to those using household commercial products as common as hair dyes. Since their discovery, these chemicals have been used therapeutically in patients with severe vitiligo to depigment their remaining skin and improve their appearance. Because chemical-induced depigmentation is clinically and histologically indistinguishable from nonchemically induced vitiligo, and because these chemicals appear to induce melanocyte autoimmunity, this phenomenon should be known as "chemical-induced vitiligo," rather than less accurate terms that have been previously used.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Dermatol Clin. 2017 Apr;35(2):151-161. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2016.11.006. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


Autoimmunity, Cellular stress, Chemical, Leukoderma, Monobenzone, Phenol, Rhododendrol, Vitiligo

PubMed ID