What You Should Know About Vitiligo
Vitiligo, which is also known as Leukoderma is a skin disorder, whose exact cause has not been established yet. The skin cells contain dark pigment known as melanin, which provides the skin with its natural colour and also protects us from the raging sun. The skin however, loses its colour when melanin is either destroyed or not produced. When this happens, white spots start appearing on the skin, which is known as Vitiligo. Nonetheless, it is unsafe to assume all white spots are or have Leukoderma.
Causes of Vitiligo
Stress and low immunity have been explained or suggested as the two possible causes of Vitiligo. Other medical experts have also suggested psychological strain and stigmas as possible causes. However, there is no established cause or causes of this skin condition despite those suggestions. Reports out there also reveal that an event of sunburn or emotional distress is enough to trigger this skin disorder; though not yet proven scientifically.
People who develop it are usually below 20 years of age, and most who have never suffered it are believed to be under the age of 40. However, it is a disorder that affects both genders as well as all races. Vitiligo is more or easily noticeable in people with darker skins. Leukoderma is also noticeable in individuals who experience or suffer more from autoimmune diseases including pernicious anemia, hyperthyroidism, and others.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of Leukoderma include white patches or depigmentation of the skin especially on sun-exposed skin. Areas where the white patches normally appear include; hands, arms, lips, face, and feet. Other areas likely to suffer from this include; the armpits, nostrils, the navel area, mouth, eyes, the rectum, and the genital. It usually surfaces in three different patterns including the following:
Focal pattern- this is restricted to a couple of areas.
Segmental pattern- this type only surfaces on one side of the body.
Generalized pattern- this type appears on both sides, and is the most common.
Individuals suffering from this skin disorder might experience the following; loss of pigmentation inside the mouth (people with dark skin), premature hair-greying of hair, eyelashes, beard and eyebrows.
Doctors usually prescribe treatment right away once diagnosis has been completed. Treatment is usually based on what a doctor feels is the best option to deal with the condition. Finding a doctor with vast experience in Vitiligo is the best way to managing the condition. Some medical therapies include:
Topical steroid therapy.
Psoralen photo chemotherapy
Autologous skin graft (surgical )
Autologous melanocyte transplants (surgical)
Skin graft using blisters (surgical)
Other therapies you might want to consider include:
Early treatment is always the best way to deal with Vitiligo.