Vitaligo

vitaligo

I often noticed people as well as medical professionals misspelling the name of our skin disorder. Probably the most common spell error accounts for the horrific "vitaligo".

So let's find out how to correctly pronounce, write and read the name of our disease. Vitiligo is pronounced vit-ihl-eye-go. The name comes from the latin "vitium", meaning fault, defect which in this case is a spot or bleamish and the suffix "ligo" which means "to cause, to provoke". So vitiligo can be translated as "causing spots, depigmentation".

Below is an audio recording of how to properly pronounce "vitiligo":

Another opinion on the etiology of the word vitiligo comes from the disease appearance, resembling the white glistening of the flesh of calves, called vituli in ancient Rome, may have given rise to the generic term vitiligo. I've also encountered opinions that the word is derived from "vitelius", meaning "calf" because of the white patches on it's fur.

In ancient times, vitiligo wasn't much distinguished from leprosy as the 1841 Lexicon of the Latin Language of Facciolati & Forcellini states: Vitiligo (vitium) a kind of leprosy or cutaneous eruption consisting of spots, sometimes black, sometimes white, called the morphea, alphus, melas, leuce; also in general a cutaneous eruption. Celsus & Pliny."

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