People get vitiligo when their body attacks its own melanocytes, the cells that give our skin, hair, and other areas of the body color.
These cells live in the skin, hair, lips, mouth (inside of), nostrils, genitals, rectum, eyes, and inner ear. When the body attacks them, the result can be a few light-colored patches on the skin. Others see widespread loss of skin color. Hair can develop a white streak. This can happen to hair anywhere on the body, including the top of the head, an eyebrow, or eyelash. If the body attacks these cells in the inner ear, the person may develop hearing loss.