Vitiligo is a skin condition which causes loss of pigment that results in an irregular white patches on skin. People of all age group can be affected by it
It is a disease that causes the loss of skin color and form blotches. The severity and rate of color loss from vitiligo is uncontrollable. It can affect the skin on any part of your body. It also affect hair, the inside part of the mouth and even the eyes can be affected by this condition.
Usually , the color of hair, skin and eyes is due to melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produces melanin die or stop functioning.
Vitiligo can affect people of all skin types and condition , but it can be more noticeable in people with darker or brown skin color. This condition is not life-threatening or contagious but It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself having this condition . Treatment for vitiligo may cause improvement in the appearance of the affected skin but does not cure the disease.
sign and symptoms of vitiligo :
The main sign of vitiligo is loss of color (pigment) that produces light or white colored patches on the skin. generally, the discoloration first appears on sun-exposed areas, like the hands, feet, arms, face and lips.
vitiligo signs are as follows :
- Loss of pigmentation in Skin causing discoloration
- whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard (usually before age 35)
- Loss of pigments in the cells and tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose (mucous membranes)
- Loss of pigment or change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball (retina)
- Discolored patches around the area like armpits, navel, genitals and rectum
Vitiligo can start developing at any age, but most often appears before the age of 20. on the condition of vitiligo you have, the discolored patches may cover following parts of body:
- Many parts of your body. This is the most common type of vitiligo, called generalized vitiligo, the discolored patches often progress similarly on neighboring body parts (symmetrically).
- Only one side or part of your body. This type of vitiligo is called segmental vitiligo, tends to occur at a younger age, it progress for a year or more, then stops.
- One or only a few areas of your body. This type of vitiligo is called as localized (focal) vitiligo.
It's difficult to predict when and where your disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop developing without any treatment. In most cases, pigment loss developes and eventually involves most of your skin. in the rarer cases the skin gets its color back.
when to see a doctor
Go to your doctor if areas of your skin, hair or eyes lose pigment. Vitiligo has no cure. But treatment will help to stop or slow down the discoloring process and return some pigment to your skin.
Vitiligo occurs when melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) die or decrease the production of melanin — the pigment which gives your skin, hair and eyes color. The patches of skin become lighter or white. Doctors don't know why the cells fail to produce pigment or die. It may be related to:
- An autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys the melanocytes in the skin
- Family history (heredity)
- A trigger trauma, such as sunburn, stress or exposure to industrial harsh chemicals
people with vitiligo may be at increased risk of :
- Social or psychological stress
- Sunburn and also skin cancer
- Eye problems, such as inflammation of the iris (iritis) and itching
- Hearing loss
- Side effects as a result to treatment, such as dry skin and itching