Overview of vitiligo
Vitiligo is a disease that causes a loss of color in the skin in the form of spots. The discolored areas usually increase with time. The condition can affect the skin on any part of the body. It can likewise influence the hair and within the mouth.
Usually, hair and skin color is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop working. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more pronounced in people of darker skin tone. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself.
Vitiligo treatment may restore color to affected skin. However, it does not prevent the continued loss or recurrence of skin color.
Vitiligo causes and risk factors
The skin does not have its distinctive color because it has lost the pigment melanin. For reasons unknown, the shade framing cells known as melanocytes have been obliterated.
We don’t know why this is happening. It could be an autoimmune condition, in which the body’s defenses turn on your cells rather than attacking the invading germs.
Although Vitiligo affects all genders equally, it is most noticeable in people of dark complexion.
Signs and symptoms of vitiligo
The main indication of vitiligo is pale territories of hypopigmented skin that will in general happen on the limits. Some people may experience itching before a new patch appears. The spots are small at first, but they often grow and change shape. When skin lesions do occur, they appear prominently on the face, hands, and wrists. The loss of skin pigmentation is noted especially around body openings, such as the mouth, eyes, nose, genitals, and navel. Some lesions have increased skin pigmentation around the edges. People with vitiligo may experience depression and similar mood disorders.
The doctor will use family history, medical history, physical examination, and tests to diagnose vitiligo. The doctor may ask questions such as:
- Do you have family members with Vitiligo?
- Do you or someone in your family have an autoimmune disease?
- Did you have a rash, sunburn, or other skin problems before the white spots appeared?
- Did you suffer from some kind of stress or physical illness?
- Did your hair turn gray before the age of 35?
- Are you sensitive to the sun?
The doctor will perform a physical examination to rule out other medical problems.
May include tests:
- Taking a small sample (biopsy) from the affected skin to be tested
- Blood tests
- eye check.
People with vitiligo may be at higher risk:
- Social or psychological distress
- Eye problems
- Hearing loss
How is vitiligo treated?
There is no cure for Vitiligo. The goal of medical treatment is to create a uniform skin tone by either restoring color (re-pigmentation) or removing the remaining color (depigmentation). Common treatments include camouflage treatment, repigmentation therapy, light therapy, and surgery. Counseling may also be recommended.
- Use a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher. Also, the sunscreen should protect against UVB and UVA rays (UVB and UVA). The use of sunscreens reduces tanning, thus limiting the contrast between affected skin and normal skin.
- Makeup helps to camouflage pigmented areas. A well-known brand is Dermablend.
- hair dyes if Vitiligo affects hair.
- Depigmentation treatment with monobenzone may be used if the disease is extensive. This medication is applied to the pigmented spots of the skin and will turn them white to match the areas of Vitiligo.
- Corticosteroids can be taken orally (tablet form) or topically (as a cream applied to the skin). The results may take up to 3 months. The doctor will monitor the patient for any side effects, which could include thinning of the skin or striae (stretch marks) is used for a long time.
- Topical Vitamin D analogs.
- Topical immunomodulators such as calcineurin inhibitors.
- Narrowing ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) requires two to three treatment sessions per week for several months.
- Excimer lasers emit a wavelength of ultraviolet light close to narrow-band UVB. This is best for patients who do not have widespread or large lesions as they are delivered to small, targeted areas.
- The combination of oral psoralen and UVA (PUVA) is used to treat large areas of skin affected by vitiligo. This treatment is said to be very effective for people suffering from Vitiligo in the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs areas.
- Self-grafting (from the patient): The skin is taken from one part of the patient and used to cover another part. Possible complications include scarring, infection, or lack of repigmentation. This may also be called mini-grafting.
- Micropigmentation: A type of tattoo that is commonly applied to the lips of people with Vitiligo.
- Vitiligo can cause emotional distress and have the ability to affect a person’s outlook and social interactions. If this happens, your provider may suggest that you find a counselor or attend a support group.
Although there is no evidence, some people prevent Vitiligo by following some advice.
- Drinking plenty of water can boost the body’s immune system which can prevent Vitiligo
- Eating green leafy vegetables and fruits like bananas and apples can prevent Vitiligo
- To prevent the formation of white spots, avoid alcohol, coffee, fish, and red meat.
- Eating foods that contain vitamin B, C, amino acids, and folic acids can prevent the appearance of these white spots.
- It will also help to add minerals like copper, zinc, and iron to your food.
- Pigmented skin cells are damaged when the skin is affected by wounds, burns, and sunburn. It can cause vitiligo. Avoiding deep woods and burns will prevent Vitiligo.