Vitiligo is a disease that causes loss of skin color in patches.

Color loss from vitiligo is unpredictable.
It will have an effect on the skin on any part of your body, It may additionally have an effect on hair and the inside of the mouth

However, vitiligo is non-contagious i.e, One person cannot catch it from another.

CAUSES OF VITILIGO:

Vitiligo is the result of the skin’s melanocytes being destroyed. Melanocytes are cells present within the skin that produce melanin, which are responsible for giving the skin its color. Vitiligo is generally thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly destroys its own melanocytes. The exact cause is unknown.
It affects men and women equally and is more noticeable in darker people.

Vitiligo may run in families. You’re more likely to get it when someone else in your family has it, or when people in your family get gray hair prematurely.

There are various triggers for this skin condition, which include stress, genetic predisposition, autoimmune diseases, extensive exposure to sunlight and chemical exposure.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF VITILIGO:
The main sign of vitiligo is the patchy loss of skin color. Usually, the discoloration first shows on sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips.
Normally, however, it does not cause any discomfort, irritation, soreness, or dryness in the skin.

It begins as a simple spot, a little paler than the rest of the skin, but as time passes, this spot becomes paler until it turns white.
There are some other signs of vitiligo, including

Hair turning gray or white prematurely
Eyelashes or eyebrows losing color and turning white
Change of color in the retina of the eye
Color loss in the nose and mouth

DIAGNOSIS:

Most of the time, the doctor will diagnose vitiligo by clinically identifying white patches on the skin and reviewing your medical history.

Other tests might include

Wood lamp, which uses ultraviolet light to identify pigment loss.
2. skin biopsy, which will show whether melanocytes are present in the skin. Absence or lack of melanocytes is an indication of vitiligo.
3. And also ask for a blood test to see if you have another autoimmune disease.

TREATMENT:
Few treatment options that can help minimize the appearance of the white spots are listed here.

Medications:

No drug can stop the process of vitiligo
But some drugs, like steroids and antibiotics, are used alone or with light therapy, can help restore some skin tone.
corticosteroid creams and ointments containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus may help.

Therapies:

Light therapy and PUVA light therapy using UV light.
Depigmentation i.e, Pigment removal from the unaffected skin.

TIPS TO PREVENT VITILIGO:
1. Protect your skin from the sun and artificial sources of UV light by using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours
2. Wear clothing that protects your skin from the sun.

3. Do not use tanning beds and sun lamps.

Use concealing products that improve the appearance of the skin and help you feel better about yourself, especially if your vitiligo patches are on the exposed skin. Engage in physical activity and do things which you like may avoid anxiety, depression and psychological stress.

By,

Dr. Krishna Priya


References:

https://www.aocd.org/page/Vitiligo

 

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