Vitiligo is a skin color disorder of unknown cause, which causes white patches on different parts of the body. This disease affects 1% of the world population and is more common in women than men. The cure is not known, but more than its severity, its implications are social since it affects visible areas, making it difficult for the patient to hide or disguise the lesions. From FastlyHealwe describe what Vitiligo is and its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
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Causes of Vitiligo
Vitiligo occurs when cells responsible for skin pigmentation, melanocytes, are destroyed by immune cells.
This aggression against nature is unknown, but there are several theories. One is that the patient’s immune system recognizes melanocytes as a threat and therefore attacks them. The neurogenic theory is also considered, which says that some substance is released in the nerve endings that are toxic to the melanocytes responsible for producing melanin. Finally, the theory of self-destruction states that the cells responsible for melanin destroy themselves.
Vitiligo usually manifests mainly on the face, elbows and knees, hands and feet, or genitals. These are white spots that affect the skin and can also be found in the eyes or mouth, although it is somewhat less frequent.
They are spots that usually appear in situations of stress, emotional tension due to localized trauma or burns, and depending on their form of appearance, denoting that it is one type of Vitiligo or another. The kinds of Vitiligo are :
- Localized: affecting only the hands or face. This is usually the most common.
- Segmental: that follows the path of a nerve. It is the most stable because it seldom extends beyond the region where it initially arises, appearing in the form of thick lines along the skin, on one side of the body.
- Generalized: that extends over several body areas close to each other and quite symmetrically.
- Dispersed: it arises in different body areas, far from each other.
- Universal: appearing throughout most of the body.
Treatment of this condition
There is no cure for this disease, but there are treatments that can help mask the symptoms of Vitiligo. It is essential to go to the doctor to determine the most suitable for each patient.
Protecting yourself from the sun is essential when suffering from this disease, either with sun creams or clothing because burns can lead to more spots. At the same time, it can help to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables since they are foods that contain vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and photoprotector.
One of the treatments for patients older than ten years is usually photochemotherapy since it changes the skin color in many cases. It involves taking certain medications two hours before being exposed to the sun, and the treatment is carried out two to three times a week for 6 to 18 months. This is how it can stimulate the melanocytes that are still working correctly.
On the other hand, surgery is also used, especially effective in segmental Vitiligo. What is done is to transplant pieces of skin from one area to another so that the active melanocytes repopulate the affected parts of the body.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Vitiligo: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair, and nails category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.