One of the first areas of my face to lose its pigment when I was a child was the corners of my mouth - a common site of vitiligo lesions. I always assumed that this was because there is something in the saliva of vitiligo sufferers that triggers pigment loss in the same way as there seems to be something in tears that cause vitiligo to develop around the eyes. This may well be the case but there is also another factor that may contribute to white patches around the mouth and that most people use without even thinking about the problems it might cause ... toothpaste!
Many brands of toothpaste contain hydrogen peroxide, which of course is a powerful bleach. Researchers into vitiligo have found that vitiligo sufferers already have higher levels of hydrogen peroxide in their skin than the rest of the population. So it definitely does not make sense for anyone with vitiligo to use a product two or three times a day that contains this substance and comes into contact with their skin.
I, for one, am going to be looking very carefully at the ingredients listings on the toothpaste I put in my shopping basket from now on!
My name is Caroline.