Vitiligo is a disease caused by the loss of pigmentation of the skin resulting to the appearance of white blotches of various sizes of irregular shape.
Vitiligo affects all races and both sexes equally affecting 1% of the whole population.
Vitiligo is not infectious or contagious and con not be transmitted by physical contact from a patient to a healthy person.
From a medical point of view vitiligo does not cause any damage or pain but the disease’s impact on the patients’ psychology and feelings is great.
It can be related to certain diseases like thyroid malfunctions.
The exact is unknown although most experts believe it to be an autoimmune disease.
In case of vitiligo the immune system attacks the pigment-producing cells of the skin.
It is also possible that one or more genes make a person more susceptible to the appearance of this skin condition.
It is speculated, without any proof, that a sunburn or emotional stress can trigger vitiligo.
Discoloration of the skin
- Premature whitening or graying of the hair on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard (before the age of 35)
- Loss of color in the mucous membranes
- Discolored patches around the belly button, armpits, anus and genitals
In generalized vitiligo, the discolored patches often progress symmetrically on corresponding body parts.
- In segmental vitiligo it covers one side or part of your body , tends to occur at a younger age, progress for a year or two, then stop
- In localized or focal vitiligo, which covers one or more body parts
It is not possible to foresee how a patient would react to vitiligo treatment.
The type of treatment depends on the general health, the age and the areas where vitiligo appeared on his body.
Results may vary from one body part to the other.
By combining 2 or more treatments we generally get better results.
For the treatment of vitiligo we recommend:
- Local treatment (local corticosteroids, substances that can restore skin color)
- Phototherapy (use of leght of specific wavelength for the repigmentation of the skin)
- Photochemotherapy (PUVA)
- Surgery (when all other treatments have failed)
- Alternative treatments (some minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes are considered helpful in vitiligo treatment)
- Depigmentation (it removes the remaining color of the skin)
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