What is Vitiligo and how it can be treated?
We are living in a modern environment and working like a machine. We are not likely to take care of our diet, exercise, and health; all we experience is how a day starts and ends. This daily routine can result in certain disorders, some may be life-threatening if not given the respect and attention they deserve. It’s from living a lifestyle, that our community came across a disease named Vitiligo that results in loss of skin color in blotches. Follow me on this post and I’ll try my best to clear each possible question or query about this disease. Some of our readers asked ‘ How to identify vitiligo and what are the causes?’ So we have put this short blog together to try and answer some of their questions.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes some white patches to appear on the skin. They can develop anywhere on the body and people experience these patches at certain places. In simple words, vitiligo causes the loss of skin color which is categorized by either complete loss of melanin pigment or defective formation of skin pigment. Once this skin disorder starts its course, it is impossible to predict how fast it can spread and which part of the body will be affected.
It can develop at any part of your body, even inside of your mouth, hair, or between your eyes. The main cause of this skin disorder is the death of melanin cells i.e. cells that are the foundation of skin pigment. Initially, vitiligo can appear as a patch of white skin that is light in color than the rest. This patch will dramatically become completely white as well as skin pigment starts to fade. Vitiligo does not really cause any discomfort in regular life; however, these patches may itch occasionally. Vitiligo can affect anyone; however, it is more likely to notice this disorder in darker skin tones.
This skin disease is categorized into two types that are as follows:
- Segmental Vitiligo: It means that only one segment of the body will be affected i.e. one leg, one side of the face, or an arm. Segmental Vitiligo is most common in children and more than half parents of these children often show patches of white hair on the head, on an eyebrow, or an eyelash.
- Non-segmental Vitiligo: Unlike segmental vitiligo, it affects both sides of any body part i.e. leg, arm, face etc.
What are the causes of Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is caused due to the death of skin pigment known as melanin. Cells that generated melanin are called melanocytes and vitiligo appears if they stop functioning or die. Areas, where the skin become white means melanin cells, are affected in this region and there is no skin pigment present there. This disorder may occur due to a compromised health condition or immune system where the cells start killing themselves. More than half people experience vitiligo before the age of 20 till 40. However, these patches can develop at any age; even some have it at a small age.
They can also run in families. For instance, a person whose father has vitiligo can also undergo the same disease. The exact cause of what triggers vitiligo is not confirmed yet, however, some physician has associated it with sunburn, some with stress, and some with intense hot and cold conditions. No theory about what triggers vitiligo has sufficient proof yet, though physicians do ask the symptoms described above when testing.
Signs and Symptoms
You’ll often develop white patches in different areas of the body. These white patches stay the same for some time, but they might increase in size afterward. The main sing and symptom of vitiligo is the development of flat white patches or spots on the skin. They often start to appear on skin areas that are usually exposed to the sun. Vitiligo starts it course as slightly pale patches that becomes paler over time until it turns white. They have an irregular shape that sometimes has a red tone causing itchiness.
Normally, vitiligo does not cause any discomfort, dryness, irritation, and soreness in daily lives. Effects of vitiligo vary among people. For instance, some people may experience soreness, irritation, or itchiness, while some just develop white large patches and nothing else.
How can it be treated?
There is no authentic treatment for vitiligo, thus vitiligo has no cure. Make sure to seek medical assistance as soon as possible if your skin, eyes, or hair start losing color, as it may help to slow down or stop the patches to develop furthermore. Corticosteroid creams can be used for adults, which may help in camouflaging the patches and restore some of the original skin colors. These creams are only preferred for adults at only 10% of the body in case of non-segmental vitiligo.
Here is the list of possible remedies that help in decreasing the visibility of vitiligo conditions:
- Phototherapy with UVB Light
- Phototherapy with UVA Light
- Skin Camouflage
- Utilizing Sunscreen on skin
- Topical Corticosteroids
We have found a number of concealers and creams on AMAZON that will help cover the Vitiligo patches which can help with you confidence and self estem like this amazing product from REVLON. This was recommended by 3 of our readers when we asked the question. ‘ What’s the best way to conceal VITILIGO?’ and at only $7.49 from AMAZON it’s an affordable product. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.
HAVE A LOOK AT OUR SECTION ON ‘OTHER SKIN CONDITIONS’
Some skin patches can become prominent that might lead to issues with self-esteem, and in special cases, stress, anxiety, and depression. Vitiligo can have a diverse effect on darker skin tones because of the contrast. In the end, I would like to conclude this post as increase awareness about vitiligo and ask your friends, family, or colleagues having vitiligo to recommend someone who can help.
In case of any further questions or suggestions, feel free to comment down below.
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