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About 20% of people with vitiligo have the problem of vitiligo itch. That’s probably due to the stress caused by their condition, which can be worsened by itchiness. Itching is more common on damaged skin, where the cells are multiplying to replace lost cells. Scratching breaks down these new cells faster than it would in normal skin. The new cells aren’t producing pigment quickly enough to match the surrounding area, leaving white spots or “islands” surrounded by unpigmented skin. Dead surface cells may also block hair follicles and sweat glands, causing itching under the arms and around genitalia if hair loss occurs there too.
What causes itching in vitiligo patients?
The types of nerve endings in the skin that detect heat and cold also respond to itchiness, so that can cause itching too. The immune system’s response to white blood cells that run wild in areas of your skin with vitiligo can lead to an itchy feeling, often described as pins and needles. The chemicals that the immune system release to fight these wayward white blood cells may also cause itchiness.
- Vitiligo patients itch more than the average person due to stress and adrenaline release.
- Although itching is an unpleasant feeling, scratching doesn’t help. Instead, it worsens the problem by triggering inflammation that slows down pigment production in cells affected by vitiligo. Thus, vitiligo patients need to avoid scratching.
- Vitiligo patients often have a history of other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease or diabetes. These conditions can also cause itching, making it difficult to determine whether itching is caused by the state itself or is a side effect of treatment.
- People with vitiligo often have a history of other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease or diabetes. These conditions can also cause itching, making it difficult to determine whether itching is caused by the state itself or is a side effect of treatment.
- It’s also possible for itching to be triggered by other skin conditions such as psoriasis, which can develop in people with vitiligo and cause more itching and discomfort.
- People who suffer from Vitiligo generally report feeling discomfort in the areas of skin where their pigment cells are affected.
- The discomfort that people with Vitiligo feel is not necessarily on the same parts of the body that have lost pigment, but more commonly on recent vitiligo lesions or scars from prior episodes.
- Many patients report feeling this pain beneath the surface of their skin, and it can be challenging to locate precisely.
- Patients report that this discomfort comes and goes, the intensity varying every time.
- A patient might feel fine one day and intensely itchy the next – chances are whatever is triggering your itching today will also cause discomfort tomorrow.
- Itchiness can be triggered by psoriasis, eczema, xerosis (dry skin), seborrhoeic dermatitis (a condition affecting the scalp, face, and trunk), and atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema).
What are the other things that trigger itch in vitiligo patients?
Stress is listed as one of many potential causes for itchiness in people with vitiligo, but chronic stress is an underlying cause of many different dermatological problems. Stressful events are thought to trigger the release of hormones, especially corticosteroids, which can affect our skin in several ways.
It’s hard to stay calm when dealing with vitiligo every day, but you should try your best not to let it get too much because even stress-induced itchiness can become unbearable over time.
B. Corticosteroid creams
Corticosteroid creams can also cause itching, as can skin infections, such as eczema. These aren’t causes of vitiligo itself, but they could affect a patient’s experience of the condition and make the itchiness worse.
C. Hypersensitivity to chemicals in foods
People with vitiligo are more sensitive to sunlight, which maybe because of the condition’s autoimmune aspect. Still, it’s also possible that sun exposure makes the skin more sensitive to certain chemicals in foods – even in people without vitiligo! It’ll take some trial and error before you figure out your triggers, so just try everything you can think of until you find something that works.
Certain medications can cause itchiness in patients with vitiligo, some of which are listed below:
- Phenobarbital (for epilepsy)
- Acetaminophen (for pain relief)
- Nicotinic acid (for high cholesterol)
- Cimetidine (a medication for ulcers; brands include Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid AC )
E. Allergies to things like metals or certain chemicals
Sometimes people who get rashes from wearing jewelry or other metal accessories might be allergic to them! Keep an eye out for anything new you’ve introduced to your skin routine.
F. Dry skin
Vitiligo is characterized by loss of pigment in the skin, so it only makes sense that dryer-than-normal patches could be itchy due to a lack of oil glands and other factors.
G. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
Many staph infections are itchy, but Staphylococcus aureus bacteria primarily cause itching sensations during flare-ups. Keep an eye out for red bumps or other signs of infection on areas where you feel itchiness, as this can help speed treatment along!
How to prevent vitiligo itch at home:
- Keep the affected areas clean, moisturized, and protected:To prevent itching, you need to properly take care of the affected areas. Proper hydration and cleanliness are a must. Apply moisturizer or ointment regularly on the areas where vitiligo patches have appeared. You can use petroleum jelly, aloe vera gel, cocoa butter lotion, etc.
- Use antihistamine medication: Antihistamine creams, gels, and lotions soothe the skin inflammation caused due to itching. These medications also work on relieving you from itching sensation. If you feel very itchy after a day’s work, try taking a warm bath with Epson salt. It will reduce your itching and calm your skin.
- Apply baking soda paste: Take water in a bowl and mix it with baking soda to prepare a thick paste. Now, apply the mixture to the affected areas for 10 minutes and let it dry naturally; then, you can wash it off with plain water. The combination will reduce inflammation, swelling, and itching caused by vitiligo patches.
- Do not scratch the affected areas: People suffering from vitiligo have a habit of scratching the itchy patches as they feel irritated and uncomfortable. But, you should avoid scratching as much as possible. Instead, take some antihistamine cream or ointment to reduce the itching sensation.
- Use topical steroids: If itching is too much to handle, you can use topical steroids. They will reduce the redness and inflammation caused in affected areas.
- Use sunscreen: Vitiligo patches are more sensitive to sun rays, so you should always apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.
- Try homeopathy medicine: Many medicinal herbs can reduce inflammation and itching sensation in vitiligo patches. You should check with your dermatologist about the different types of herbal medicines available for vitiligo treatment, which might help you get rid of itching.
- Consult a doctor if it keeps occurring: Consult a doctor if you have tried everything and still feel irritating. There might be some other skin disorder causing an itching sensation in the affected areas. So, it’s better to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible.
- Consult a homeopath: If your vitiligo patches itch very badly, you may consult a homeopath doctor to get relief from itching sensation. Homeopathy is also effective in treating vitiligo thoroughly.
What is the treatment provided by skin doctors for vitiligo itch?
Treatment options available to reduce the severity of itching and other symptoms associated with vitiligo are:
1.) Vitamins: Daily intake of vitamins like vitamin C and E can help to reduce the itching sensation caused by vitiligo. Vitamins can heal the skin’s cells that are damaged due to a lack of pigment. If you take vitamin B12 supplements orally or through injections, your skin will become less sensitive. This way, you will get relief from the itching sensation caused due to vitiligo. Also, Vit D can be a potent anti-itch in vitiligo.
2.) Topical medications: If there are no signs of infection in the affected areas, doctors prescribe steroid creams to reduce the itching sensation. It is one of the most effective home remedies for itchiness due to vitiligo. There are certain ointments with antihistamine properties that can be used on the affected areas. The steroid and antihistamine ointment will work effectively to reduce itching and redness caused by the disorder. Applying topical corticosteroids on affected areas can help to reduce inflammation and itching sensation. They are available over the counter in different strengths; they will effectively reduce your inflammation and discomfort caused due to vitiligo patches.
3.) Sunscreen: Doctors also recommend applying sunscreen before going out in the sun as UV rays make vitiligo patches itchy and sensitive. Using a good sunscreen with SPF 30-50 will keep the skin safe from harmful sun rays, thus reducing itchiness due to vitiligo. It is always better not to expose self to sunlight as much as possible, especially after 10 am. Vitiligo makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it becomes crucial to protect your skin from sunlight.
4.) Homeopathy: Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo is one of the best treatment options nowadays. Many homeopathic medicines can help to cure vitiligo completely. Some natural ingredients found in these medicines include chamomile, St John’s Wort, and calendula. These ingredients have antiseptic properties that heal the skin cells. Homeopathy remedies for vitiligo can help you make your skin pigment back again. There are many homeopathic remedies for itchiness caused due to vitiligo. But, you must consult a specialist before using any of the treatment options. A homeopathy doctor will guide you properly about the most effective homeopathic medicine suited for your condition. You can also use some herbal medication with water or ointment-based solutions to reduce itching sensation and other symptoms associated with this disorder.
Vitiligo causes skin dryness, resulting in itching, burning sensation, white patches on soles, palms, elbows, etc. These patches may be more sensitive than surrounding unaffected areas, which causes severe problems. Homeopathy treatment for vitiligo can reduce symptoms like stickiness, itching, and burning sensation. Traditional medicines can also be used to give relief from symptoms of vitiligo.
It is considered one of the best treatment options to relieve itchiness in vitiligo. Phototherapy is also helpful in treating the root cause of this disorder. This treatment modality uses natural or artificial ultraviolet rays for stimulating pigment production, which reduces the appearance of white patches on your skin.
6.) Corticosteroids: If you have chronic itching due to vitiligo, doctors prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce redness and inflammation in affected areas. These creams are very effective in reducing the effect of vitiligo on our body, but they can cause side effects if applied frequently or for a more extended period. You should only use these medicines exactly as prescribed by your dermatologist without any improvisation to prevent dangerous side effects.
7.) Antihistamines: This is one of the most effective home remedies for itchiness due to vitiligo. These medicines reduce itching sensation, redness, and swelling in the affected areas. Itching is a common symptom of this skin disorder; doctors prescribe antihistamine ointment or creams to treat this problem effectively.
8.) High-strength steroidal creams: If there is no sign of infection or inflammation in the affected areas, your doctor will prescribe you high-strength topical steroids to treat vitiligo. This medicine is very effective but can cause side effects if applied frequently. You should only use this medicine as per prescription without any improvisation because it has serious side effects and can damage your skin permanently if misused.
9.) Topical retinoids: You can also use a non-prescription cream containing tretinoin to get relief from itchiness due to vitiligo. It works by increasing the production of pigment molecules called melanin, which makes our skin color darker and reduces white spots on the body. It is available over-the-counter, so you can quickly get rid of this skin disorder by using this effective home remedy.
10.) Light therapy: This is another non-invasive treatment to reduce the appearance of white patches on your skin in vitiligo. Doctors use light therapy along with topical steroid creams for faster healing. It stimulates melanocyte cells present under the surface of our skin and repairs damaged tissues, which reduces the severity of the vitiligo problem within weeks.
Your skin doctor is the best person to choose the suitable mode of treatment for you, so; it is advised to consult him as soon as possible. Early treatment for this skin disorder increases the chances of complete recovery significantly. You can book an appointment today through OHO Homeopathy!