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Vitiligo is a common skin disorder that destroys the pigment cells of the skin. It causes white patches to appear on different parts of the body. The patchy loss of skin colour happens when melanocytes, pigment cells in the skin, are attacked and destroyed by the immune system. Depigmentation may result in psychological distress for many patients who seek professional treatment. Vitiligo is caused when specialized cells called melanocytes die or stop working. These cells typically make a substance called melanin that gives your hair, eye, and skin colour. With vitiligo, this melanin breaks or leaves areas of your body. This causes white patches to appear on your hair, skin, and inside your mouth and nose. You cannot catch vitiligo from another person, nor can you be born with it because it equally affects people of all races and genders. Here is detailed information about vitiligo:
What causes vitiligo:
- Autoimmune destruction of melanocytes:
Vitiligo is caused when specialized cells called melanocytes die or stop working. These cells typically make a substance called melanin that gives your hair, eye, and skin color. With vitiligo, this melanin breaks or leaves areas of your body. This causes white patches to appear on your hair, skin, and inside your mouth and nose.
- Genetic factors:
Vitiligo seems to run in some families- more than half the people with vitiligo have another family member with it. Researchers believe that at least seven genes are involved in these cases of familial vitiligo. The pattern of inheritance may be either dominant or recessive.
- Nerve Disorders:
It can also appear after a disease or nerve damage that affects the skin, including:
- Leprosy: It usually appears after leprosy has gone untreated for several months. And can also be seen in people who’ve had leprosy and received treatment.
- Diabetes mellitus: This is when your blood sugar is too high over a long period. High blood sugar damages nerves throughout your body, including those in your skin.
- Herpes zoster (shingles): This is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus (the virus that causes chickenpox).
- Stiff person syndrome: People with this rare disorder develop rigid muscles, experience tremors and shaking, and have difficulty walking. And have issues related to talking, swallowing, and breathing.
- Sjogren’s syndrome: This autoimmune disease causes dry eyes and mouth. It also affects other parts of your body, including your skin and nervous system.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: This is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
- Dysfunction and death of melanocyte stem cells:
Vitiligo is also thought to occur when melanocyte stem cell dysfunction or death causes a decrease in melanocyte numbers.
- Other factors:
Defective epidermal barrier (causing increased susceptibility to UV radiation) and decreased DNA repair after UVR exposure.
How does vitiligo progress:
Vitiligo is an acquired disorder, which means that it develops due to something in your environment. It does not run in families; however, about 20% of people with vitiligo develop the disorder because they inherit one or more defective genes from their parents. These faulty genes cause white patches to appear on the skin when triggered by the environment later in life. When these patches first appear, they are usually on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the hands or face. New patches appear over time and may enlarge or spread to affect other parts of the body.
Most cases of vitiligo do not worsen. However, some patients get worse with age. Sometimes people who have vitiligo also develop new pigment in their skin called repigmentation. This can happen spontaneously or after treatment. Someone can have both vitiligo and patches that are tan, brown, or dark gray (hyperpigmented). But this is rare.
Some people mistakenly think that having darker skin will prevent vitiligo from forming. While it’s true that being black does offer more protection against sun exposure, all people can get vitiligo.
What are the signs of vitiligo?
The most common form of vitiligo causes white patches to appear on your skin. These patches are more noticeable in sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, arms, feet, face, and lips. But they can affect all parts of the body. Sometimes the discoloured patches blend, making more significant areas of your skin look pale or blotchy. The following changes may also happen:
- a) Paler patchy skin colour
- b) Patches with sharp borders that are whiter than surrounding skin
- c) Areas where pigment has returned but is now darker than surrounding skin (referred to as repigmentation) Some individuals report that their skin hurts or it appears sensitive to the touch. Although this is uncommon, it should be reported to your dermatologist because treatments could help alleviate this symptom.
What are the types of vitiligo?
There are several types of vitiligo, including the following:
- Nonsegmental vitiligo:
Vitiligo affecting depigmented macules in an acral distribution in a patient with non-segmental vitiligo; the lesions are best seen on the dorsal hands. Non segmental vitiligo is by far the most common form. It causes white patches to appear on any areas of skin, although they often begin on sun-exposed sites. Patches can appear anywhere but are usually found around body openings such as your mouth, genitals, and eyes. White patches also tend to develop on skin creases and areas where the skin rubs together. This type of vitiligo is associated with autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis, diabetes, Addison disease, pernicious anemia, myasthenia gravis, alopecia areata, and rheumatoid arthritis. About 50 percent of people with vitiligo will also have another autoimmune disease.
- Segmental vitiligo:
Vitiligo affecting depigmented macules in an acral distribution in a patient with segmental vitiligo; the lesions are best seen on the dorsal hands. Because this is much less common, it’s often overlooked and misdiagnosed. For this reason, it is essential to consult a dermatologist with experience in vitiligo if you have patches of pigment loss on only one side of your body or that are limited to one half, such as just your face or an arm. Often the white patch is isolated to the inside of the mouth. Segmental vitiligo is associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Bell palsy. It’s also associated with breast cancer, leukemia, and head and neck cancers.
- Focal vitiligo:
Vitiligo affecting depigmented macules in an acral distribution in a patient with focal vitiligo; the lesions are best seen on the dorsal hands. This type of vitiligo creates patches that aren’t as symmetrical as those caused by other types of vitiligo. The term “focal” refers to small spots or discoloration of the skin. If these darker areas remain, they may eventually spread to create larger white patches like those you’d see with nonsegmental vitiligo. This type of vitiligo is associated with autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis, diabetes, Addison disease, pernicious anaemia, myasthenia gravis, alopecia areata, and rheumatoid arthritis. About 50 percent of people with vitiligo will also have another autoimmune disease.
- Universal Vitiligo:
Vitiligo affecting depigmented macules in an acral distribution in a patient with generalized vitiligo; the lesions are best seen on the dorsal hands. The least common form of vitiligo affects nearly all the pigment cells (melanocytes) in your skin. As a result, almost all skin color disappears, and you develop widespread white patches over large areas of your body. There is some debate about whether this type of vitiligo is one disease or many. If it’s on its own, it’s generally considered to be an autoimmune disorder. However, suppose the universal form of vitiligo occurs with other diseases such as ataxia-telangiectasia (a genetic condition that causes a defect in the immune system and increases your risk for cancer). In that case, it’s likely part of a spectrum of autoimmune disorders.
While it is easier to classify vitiligo into these groups, all types of vitiligo may coexist within one skin lesion or throughout the entire skin. A thorough examination by a qualified dermatologist aids in identifying the specific type and extent of vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a pigmentary disorder characterized by acquired, circumscribed white macules resulting from selective destruction of melanocytes and their precursors. Various theories have been proposed for its pathogenesis; some evidence suggests that factors such as aging, stress, and exposure to chemicals play some role. There also appears to be some genetic predisposition present in most patients with this disease.
Treatment for vitiligo:
If you suspect that you might be suffering from vitiligo, setting up an appointment with a dermatologist is essential. The dermatologist will diagnose the condition with a comprehensive physical exam and by asking you about your medical history. They may also order various lab tests depending on what they suspect might be causing the problem.
Several treatment options for vitiligo include topical creams that can help even out skin tone, laser therapy, autologous transplantation, and melanocyte transplantation.
However, over time white patches of skin caused by vitiligo can spread or increase in number, requiring more aggressive treatments. One option is taking oral medications that suppress your immune system (corticosteroids). Another is phototherapy, where you are exposed to ultraviolet light. Over time, this treatment may stimulate the growth of melanocytes in your skin.
Some people who have vitiligo are bothered by their condition and want to use treatments to reverse it. However, there are no medications available yet that can completely rid you of white patches or restore normal pigmentation to your skin. Researchers continue to investigate new treatment options for patients with this disease.
- The disease affects 1% of the worldwide population. Vitiligo is present among all races but at different frequencies. Whites are more commonly affected, followed by blacks and Asians. The reason why it’s called a “vitiligo” is that it involves loss of colour or pigment in areas including parts of the skin, the inner ear, the eyes, and mucous membranes.
- It is not dangerous to one’s health. It causes no pain, nor does it shorten lives. However, it may be psychologically distressing for some people who feel “different” from their peers.
- Vitiligo spreads very slowly – on average, about 1-2 centimeters per year even without treatment. The time it takes for your white patches to spread varies from person to person and depends on how dark the area surrounding the vitiligo is.
- Vitiligo spreads differently depending on whether or not you have an autoimmune disease such as hyperthyroidism or lupus erythematosus. If you have an autoimmune disorder, then your vitiligo may appear in several different areas of your body at once. However, if you don’t have an autoimmune disease, then your vitiligo will be limited to one spot with a thin border around it.
- Homeopathic treatment can restore skin pigmentation. Many people think that there is no treatment for vitiligo. Here homeopathic treatment plays a very important part. Homeopathy doctors have been working on it for many years with excellent results. Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo is very effective.
- Homeopathic medicines are reliable, unparalleled and are being used by patients with great success for many years. It helps to regain the colour of your skin. Homeopathy doctors have treated thousands of patients suffering from Vitiligo all over India and abroad also successfully.
- Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo has a holistic approach so, it also treats psychological and emotional problems along with physical symptoms. It takes care of mental health as well. “As homeopathy works on the principle of ‘like cures like’, homeopathic treatment for vitiligo is safe without any side effects or long-term repercussion.”
There are no side effects of homeopathic treatment for vitiligo because it consists of natural resources which are completely safe. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy and get your vitiligo treatment done with homeopathic medicines quickly. We are delighted to help you with your health problems with the best results possible.