Hypomelanosis of Ito (HMI) is a very rare birth defect that causes unusual patches of light-colored (hypopigmented) skin and may be associated with eye, nervous system, and skeletal problems.
Incontinentia pigmenti achromians; HMI; Ito hypomelanosis
Health care providers do not know the exact cause of HMI, but they believe it may involve a genetic condition called mosaicism. It is twice as common in girls as in boys.
Skin symptoms are most often visible by the time a child is about 2 years old.
Other symptoms develop as the child grows, and may include:
There is no treatment for the skin patches. Cosmetics or clothing may be used to cover the patches. Seizures, scoliosis, and other problems are treated as needed.
Virginie Carmignac is in Dijon, France. Carmignac is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Hypomelanosis of Ito. She is also highly rated in 18 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Hypomelanosis of Ito, Cohen Syndrome, Mosaicism, and Arachnodactyly.
Jean-baptiste Riviere is in Dijon, France. Riviere is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Hypomelanosis of Ito. They are also highly rated in 24 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Hypomelanosis of Ito, Increased Head Circumference, Mosaicism, and Oral-Facial-Digital Syndrome.
Laurence Faivre is in Dijon, France. Faivre is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Hypomelanosis of Ito. He is also highly rated in 135 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Hypotonia, Cortical Dysplasia, Cohen Syndrome, and Achalasia Microcephaly Syndrome.
The outlook depends on the type and severity of symptoms that develop. In most cases, skin color eventually turns to normal.
Problems that may result from HMI include:
Call your provider if your child has an unusual pattern of the color of the skin. However, any unusual patterns are likely to have another cause than HMI.
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Published Date: April 14, 2021
Published By: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Joyce JC. Hypopigmented lesions. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 672.
Patterson JW. Disorders of pigmentation. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 11.