Vitiligo: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Medikoe Wellness Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Aug 21, 2019
Vitiligo is a skin disease/disorder that is caused when the production of melanin (the pigment that gives colour to your skin) in your body stops. This disease affects several parts of the body, such as legs, eyes, hands, and even the lips in some cases.
Doctors and researchers have claimed that Vitiligo treatment disorder may be caused due to some hormonal changes. It could also be caused due to some types of skin infections. However, there is no definite reason attributed to this disease.
What causes Vitiligo?
A study that was conducted showed that heredity played a vital role in Vitiligo, affecting a more significant number of people. This study concluded that children who had parents suffering from Vitiligo are more likely to be affected by this disease in the future. However, this does not confirm that people without a history of Vitiligo will not be affected by it. This skin disorder can also be caused genetically due to the formation of an autoimmune disease (the destruction caused to the immune system). It can also be caused when the immune system interrupts the formation of melanocytes (a cell that helps in the formation of melanin).
What is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis?
Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) is a disease that is caused due to the formation of abnormal cells in the bone marrow. This disease can affect the internal and external parts of the body from the skin to the lymph nodes. Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis can play a vital part in causing vitiligo as it is caused multiplication of Langerhans cells, which are connected to the skin.
What does the age group of people vitiligo affect?
A study had suggested that above 90% of people with Vitiligo started showing symptoms when they were nearing their thirties. However, another study conducted to determine the cause concluded that symptoms showed regardless of the age of onset. Hence exact conclusions have not been reached yet.
Is there a definite treatment to cure Vitiligo?
Depigmentation, tattoo treatment, skin grafting and blister grafting are some of the well-known procedures used to reduce Vitiligo from spreading to different parts of the body of an afflicted person. However, these treatments do not guarantee a high rate of success. Since the causes of this skin disorder are many, it becomes tough to find the optimum method to treat it.
This skin disorder does not cause any harm to life. However, it can cause considerable damage emotionally.
Self Care Tips for Vitiligo:
- Protection from the sun is essential for Vitiligo patients. As skin pigment plays a role in protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays, a skin pigmentation disorder can cause more significant damage to exposed skin parts. It’s good practice to apply sunscreen and cover body parts whenever venturing out in the sun between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Gentle morning rays, on the other hand, can help in stimulating skin pigment cells and benefit patients.
- While bathing, use mild soaps and gently scrub the skin. Sometimes friction can trigger the onset of new patches.
- Avoid chemical-based products like deodorants or perfumes directly on the skin. A good alternative is to use them on clothes instead.
- As Vitiligo is more of a common disease than physical, it’s essential to factor in the resulting mental stress and tries methods like Yoga, meditation, pursuing a hobby etc. to stay positive. Mental stress may also trigger patches to occur on the skin.
- As some options of treatment for Vitiligo skin disorder such as oral medicine take a long time to show results, masking the patches and using cosmetic products helps in hiding visible patches on face and arms.
- Scientific studies suggest that having a diet rich in copper can help Vitiligo patients. Vegetables like spinach, mustard greens and sesame are rich in copper. One can also drink water stored in copper vessels.
- Maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in Vitamin B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid is good for skin and can benefit Vitiligo patients.
- Many home remedies like applying a mixture of turmeric and mustard oil can help in restoring the skin colour or adding a skin-like colour tone to the white patches.
- Other home remedies include Ginko Biloba, sweet basil leaves, psoralen seeds and walnuts etc. have been used by Vitiligo patients to help cure or contain the skin condition.
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