Skin conditions can range from mild to extreme depending on the extent of infection. If you’ve only been thinking that one can only suffer from psoriasis or acne, which are arguably the most common skin diseases, then you’ve got to think again.
There are many other skin diseases such as eczema and vitiligo, which even those are not popular in street talks, are a cause for concern.
In this post, we explore vitiligo, a rarely talked about skin condition and which can be misinterpreted to mean something else. It is because occurrence of white patches on the skin, as most people would reason, is as a consequence of burns. But did you know vitiligo has nothing to do with burns? Well, you are about to find out.
If you haven’t seen anyone suffering from vitiligo, then you may be very well clueless about it. However, information is power. It means that the earlier you learn about the disease the better it is for you.
You can never tell when it strikes or affects a family member and knowing symptoms of vitiligo is equally important.
According to several dictionaries, vitiligo is a long term skin condition that is evident as white patches. It affects people of all races, age and gender.
White patches that form on the skin is as a result of melanocytes dying off. Melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin, a skin pigmentation factor.
Thus, you would be right to think or imagine that people who suffer from vitiligo are always likely to complain of sunburn, especially on areas that are affected.
What do stats and facts say?
Studies indicate that about 2 percent of the entire global population suffers from vitiligo, which even though is not a very big figure, but is a pointer to something that can get serious if ignored.
It would also interest you to take note of the following:
- Vitiligo has no cure, which means affected persons live with the condition for a very long time.
- There is little evidence on the cause of the condition. Experts, however, argue that it may be a result of virus or autoimmune disorder.
- You cannot contract vitiligo. In short, it is not contagious.
- Depending on the scale of infection, there are varying treatments of the condition. It could be using UVB or UVA light and in severe cases, de-pigmentation of the skin. Using UVB or UVA light is often referred to as phototherapy and requires regularly hospital visits. While UVA is for small scale infection, UVB treatment is advisable for extreme cases. However, both methods are arguably the most effective.
Which areas does it affect?
While the extent of infection often varies from one person to another, white patches on the skin often form in areas such as mouth, hair and eyes.
While patches may remain the same for months, there is also a real chance of them spreading fast within a few weeks. It is easier to notice the condition in people with darker skin than those with white complexion.
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