Vitiligo is best defined as a skin problem in which there is loss of skin color in blotches. The extent and rate of pigment loss in vitiligo is unpredictable and greatly varies from individual to individual.
These white patches appear when the pigment (Melanin) producing cells of the skin, melanocytes, die off. Skin pigment, Melanin, gives skin its color and also protects it from the harmful UV rays in the Sunlight. Vitiligo is not contagious and therefore cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
Symptoms or Signs of Vitiligo include
- Discoloration of the skin
- Premature whitening or graying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
- Discoloration of the tissues that line the inside of mouth and nose
- Complete loss of or variation in color of the inner layer of eyeball
Causes of Vitiligo
The exact causes of Vitiligo are yet to be determined. But the disease can be related to the following:
- Autoimmune disorder
- Genetic oxidative stress imbalance
- Exposure to certain harmful chemicals
- Damage to the skin due to a critical sunburn or cut
- A neural or viral cause
Treatment options for Vitiligo
Many treatment options are available to restore the skin discoloration in Vitiligo. However, results vary from person to person and are also unpredictable. There is no medication that can stop vitiligo, but some medication and therapies, can help improve skin’s appearance and even out the skin tone.
The various treatment options include-
- Phototherapy- ultraviolet A (UVA) or UVB light
- Laser Therapy
- Surgery- Skin grafts and Tattooing
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