Vitiligo is a disorder of skin depigmentation. The cause is unknown, although an autoimmune presentation is suspected -- antibodies wrongly attack the pigment (melanin) producing cells of the skin. It is prevalent in all races and affects approximately one percent of the population. Interestingly, the incidence goes up in war zones, indicating stress as a possible co-factor. This condition is considered incurable by Western medicine, but Chinese medicine can treat it successfully in its early stages (up to 4 years old.) Longstanding cases may achieve some repigmentation, especially on the face, so it is always worth a try. When treatment is successful, repigmentation starts within 2 to 8 weeks of treatment with internal as well as external herbal preparations.