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Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. The attacks cause the skin’s pigmentation to be destroyed. If you have more melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) than your body needs or too many attacks against them, you will notice the loss of color. In most cases, vitiligo is permanent. About one-third of children with vitiligo will have a period when the spots fade away. The vitiligo may get better on its own or because of treatment. It is important to remember that the color changes are permanent, but some treatments can help mask the spots with standard skin color. The goal of treatment is to make you feel more confident about your appearance.
What causes vitiligo in children?
Vitiligo is a condition in which patches of skin lose their pigment and become lighter than the surrounding skin. This occurs when specific cells (called melanocytes) that give color to your skin are destroyed or stop working. You inherit this tendency to develop vitiligo, but it may not appear until later in life. Here are the reasons for vitiligo in children:
- Genetic causes:Â Â If other members of your family have vitiligo or autoimmune diseases, you are at a greater risk of developing the condition.
- Hormone changes:Â Vitiligo can be triggered by hormonal changes at different stages of life. For example, it may occur during puberty or pregnancy.
- Autoimmune disease:Â If you have an autoimmune disease such as thyroiditis, psoriasis, lichen planus, etc., you are more likely to develop vitiligo.
- Chemical exposure:Â Some medicines and chemicals may also trigger vitiligo.
- Environmental causes:Â In some cases, vitiligo can be caused by stress or exposure to certain chemicals, extreme temperatures, or sunlight.
What are the symptoms of childhood vitiligo?
The appearance of the skin depends on how long you have had vitiligo. Initially, it appears as small white spots on your skin. It may start with one or more small spots at the center of a patch of normal-colored skin. The patches are usually symmetrical (occur in the exact location). So if you have vitiligo in your hands, other areas like elbows and knees will also be affected. As vitiligo progresses, the amount of pigment loss increases, resulting in large areas of discolored skin.
In most cases, vitiligo starts as white spots on the skin. It may start with one or more small spots at the center of a patch of normal-colored skin. The patches are usually symmetrical (occur in the exact location). In some cases, it spreads over time. Gradually, large areas of pigment loss increase and spread around your body.
What are the types of vitiligo in children?
There are two main types of vitiligo in children: nonsegmental Vitiligo Generalized Vitiligo. It occurs on both sides and is nonsegmental (does not affect one part or segment of the body). Therefore, this type affects large areas of your skin.
The most common type of vitiligo is called nonsegmental. It occurs on both sides and is nonsegmental (does not affect one part or segment of the body). Therefore, this type affects large areas of your skin.
Â This type of vitiligo is different from the nonsegmental form because it affects both sides of your body, such as your hands and arms. Usually, this type of vitiligo appears in symmetrical (same on each side) patches on both sides of your body. It often starts with one or more spots on either hand before spreading to other areas.
What are the complications of childhood vitiligo?
- Psychological side effects:
Vitiligo can cause psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. It may make you feel like people are staring at your skin color even when they aren’t. So you may want to avoid social interactions and public places.
- Skin cancer:
Since vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that affects the pigment cells in your body, it can increase your chances of developing non-melanoma skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. These forms of cancer tend to grow slowly and require less intensive treatment than melanoma skin cancer, but they can be disfiguring if not treated right away.
- Other infections:
In rare cases, vitiligo may also affect your eyes, mouth, and lungs. These changes can make it harder for you to swallow certain foods or liquids. It can affect your vision if they cause inflammation of the cornea (the transparent outer layer of your eye).
How can one prevent childhood vitiligo?
Although it is iVitiligossible to prevent vitiligo, children and parents can do many things to improve the appearance of their skin.
Sun protection:Â Â Vitiligo with Vitiligo should always use sunscreen on exposed areas and other sun-sensitive areas such as the face and chest. This may help delay future changes in pigmentation for those who have vitiligo patches. It is also essential to cover up or avoid excessive direct sunlight exposure, which triggers new depigmentation.
Creams and gels to improve skin appearance:Â Some children may try creams, oils, or other products suggested by friends or the Internet. Many of these are not necessary or helpful. These include medicated bleaches, camouflage creams, self-tanners (not safeVitiligoldren), and alpha hydroxy acid peels.
Vitamin D3:Â Vitamin D3 is a vitamin that plays an important role in the body’s natural ability to fight off infections and maintain healthy skin. Many children with vitiligo have low levels of vitamin D3, which may be responsible for their condition.
Vitamins supplements:Â Some vitamins supplements are helpful for some types of vitiligo. They include folic acid, niacinamide, pyridoxine, zinc, copper sebacate, B-12 shots or sublingual tablets, and magnesium injections.
Cover cream:Â For dark patches, you can buy a cream (called monobenzone ointment) that will temporarily make these spots lighter. Sunscreen: Although it is not possible to prevent vitiligo, children and parents can do many things to improve the appearance of their skin.
Medical treatment:Â In some cases, doctors may prescribe medicines to treat nonsegmental vitiligo. These medications include corticosteroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors.
Topical corticosteroids:Â These are creams or ointments that you apply to the white patches on your skin. It may reduce the size of vitiligo patches if used regularly for a long time.
Pimecrolimus cream:Â This is a type of topical medication applied directly to the affected area with a light massage. You can use this cream as needed, but it should not be used every day because of possible side effects.
Oral corticosteroids: It decreases production and the body’s ability to respond to certain chemicals (called cytokines) that control skin pigmentation and cause inflammation in some cases of vitiligo. This medicine does not work well for everyone and has many side effects. Therefore, you should only take this medicine if your doctor prescribes it.
Topical immunomodulatory : These are medicines that may cause white patches to turn back into standard skin color. They are applied directly to the vitiligo patches and work best for adults, not children.
Light therapy:Â This treatment can help darken or lighten areas of depigmentation in some people with vitiligo. It typically involves exposing patches of skin to unique lights in a doctor’s office two times a week for about 15-30 minutes at each visit over three months. Although effective, this type of therapy is time-consuming and costly. You should consult an experienced dermatologist before starting light therapy, as many variables will influence the success of this approach.
Chemical peels:Â These are procedures used to get rid of the top outer layers of the skin. How often you need these treatments will depend on your response to treatment and how fast your vitiligo is spreading. A dermatologist might recommend chemical peels every one or two months at first and then adjust the interval based on how your skin responds.
Phototherapy:Â The use of light alone in treating vitiligo is known as phototherapy (also called PUVA therapy). Either UVA (black light) or UVB (sunlight) can be used with topical creams containing psoralen compounds. This type of treatment helps repigment skin cells when they are exposed to radiation from ultraviolet rays. You can use it at home or in a doctor’s office. Talk to your dermatologist about how often you should receive phototherapy.
What are the natural ways to prevent vitiligo in children?
- Diet: Vitiligo is not contagious. You can reduce your risk of getting vitiligo by eating a healthy diet that’s low in fat, sugar, and salt. This will help to keep your skin moisturized and less stressed.
- Exercise: Well-exercised and well-nourished skin tends to be stronger and more resistant to stress, a major cause of vitiligo. So you must perform physical activities for at least 30 minutes or more several times a week. It will help develop strong body muscles as well as good blood flow to the skin.
- Sun protection: When you are in the sun, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply it 20 minutes before you go outside and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily. You should also wear wide-brimmed hats when you’re in the sun. Cover it up with clothing that protects your skin from ultraviolet rays if exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period.
- Dietary supplements: Many dermatologists recommend taking vitamin B12 supplements to help treat vitiligo because they have been shown to help reduce depigmentation in some people with vitiligo. Other dietary supplements such as L-phenylalanine and methionine may also help.
- Herbal remedies: Many herbal preparations effectively treat vitiligo, but some may interact with other medications you may be taking or cause side effects. You should consult your doctor before taking any of these preparations.
- Ginkgo Biloba : Ginkgo biloba is an herb with antioxidant properties and stimulates blood circulation on the skin’s surface. A Chinese study showed that people who had taken this herb regularly for at least six months experienced repigmentation in their spots when exposed to ultraviolet light therapy.
Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to your skin cells, which helps improve the function of your melanocytes and encourages repigmentation. A small study showed that seven out of nine people with vitiligo who underwent acupuncture treatment for three months experienced significant improvement in their condition.
- Yoga: Yoga has gained popularity as an alternative medicine technique for treating several diseases, including vitiligo. It can help reduce inflammation within the body due to stress. Perhaps yoga centers on relaxing questions and concerns about yourself or others, so you gain greater control over your life patterns. Several studies have shown that practicing yoga daily may effectively control symptoms of vitiligo by promoting healing at more profound levels of your body.
- Herbs: The most common herbs used to treat vitiligo include aloe vera, garlic, saffron, and turmeric. A small study found that applying a cream containing 0.5% of an herb called Lawsonia inermis twice daily led to significant improvement in depigmentation in 18 out of 24 people with vitiligo over two months.
- Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo in children: Homeopathic medicines work best in the early stages of vitiligo. However, a combination of homeopathy and conventional therapy can also give you good results. Your homeopath will prescribe the required medicine after examining your case history and overall health status.
Your homeopathy doctor must diagnose your condition as vitiligo before prescribing them to you to have this homeopathic treatment. In some cases, you may need special tests or investigations to define your condition. With homeopathic medicines, you can surely expect good results.
It is important to note that the vitiligo homeopathy treatment primarily focuses on curing your immune system and providing it with all the nutrients required for efficient functioning. Thus, it is equally important to nourish your body by consuming healthy food and avoiding junk or processed foods as much as possible. Remember, only a balanced diet will provide you with all the necessary nutrients essential for retinal repigmentation in your skin.
The chances of getting your vitiligo to go away entirely with homeopathic treatment are more than conventional medicines. However, the time required for complete healing varies from person to person depending on several factors such as age, lifestyle habits, and diet, etc.
To sum up:
Conventional therapies work by blocking melanin production in your skin cells through medications like steroids and immunosuppressants, which can have harmful side effects on your body. For more information, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!