Thanks to considerable and admirable efforts by public figures, the media, and beauty brands alike, general awareness about vitiligo is rising. The model Winnie Harlow, who has the skin condition, continues to make history: Early in 2019 she became the first model with vitiligo to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Cosmetics companies have also increased inclusivity, with CoverGirl and Fenty both featuring models with vitiligo in recent campaigns. As of 2020, there’s even a Barbie with vitiligo.

Still, as common as it is, much about this condition still remains misunderstood. Here, we enlist the help of dermatologists to break down the basics of vitiligo, including how to identify it, potential causes and complications, and best treatment options.