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Recent research shows a significant link between vitiligo, a skin condition, and autoimmune thyroid disorders. Discover what this connection means for you and how you can manage your health more effectively.

  • There’s a notable connection between vitiligo and the onset of thyroid disorders.
  • Regular screening for thyroid autoantibodies is recommended if you have vitiligo.
  • Vitiligo often comes before thyroid dysfunction, indicating it could be an early sign of thyroid disorders.

Vitiligo causes the loss of pigment cells, which results in white patches on the skin. This common skin disorder affects about 1% to 2% of the population and is now recognized as an autoimmune disease. In vitiligo, the immune system mistakenly attacks the pigment-producing cells in the skin. Notably, research indicates that more than half of those with vitiligo begin seeing signs of the disorder before turning 20.

Is There a Link Between Vitiligo and Thyroid Problems?

Vitiligo is often found in conjunction with other types of autoimmune disorders, including autoimmune thyroid disease. A recent study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care aimed to explore the connection between vitiligo and thyroid dysfunction, particularly autoimmune thyroid diseases. The study found that vitiligo often shows up before thyroid disorders. 

The presence of thyroid autoantibodies, which are proteins produced by the immune system that mistakenly attack the thyroid cells, is often higher in those with vitiligo. This points to a strong correlation between vitiligo and autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Guiding Your Health Management With These Findings

The link between vitiligo and thyroid disorders has important implications for managing your health. Since vitiligo often precedes thyroid dysfunction, it can potentially serve as an early warning sign of upcoming thyroid issues. For this reason, vitiligo patients are advised to have regular screenings for thyroid autoantibodies. These screenings should be part of your routine thyroid check-ups. 

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While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind this link, these findings can help guide your health management approach and contribute to the early detection and treatment of potential thyroid problems.


Lalrindik, C., & Khiangte, L. (2023). Study of thyroid disorders in vitiligo. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 12(4), 619. https://doi.org/10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_344_22