Vitiligo is rare skin condition affecting only about 0.5 to 2 percent of world population, it is always a cause for worry. Those who are affected experience among other things low-self esteem. Look at it this way. You have been living a normal life and all of a sudden, unexplained white patches begin to form on your skin. How do you go about it?
Well, while you will want to consult a medic for advice, sometimes blotches of color on your skin may be more than worrying. It is because a skin doctor or any other medical expert may not be able to tell extent to which you condition will spread on the body. Thus, living a life of uncertainty due to unpredictable is the least of things you want to experience.
Studies have always indicated that skin pigmentation is because of melanin. Here is the catch. What produces melanin?
Well, absence of melanocytes is the cause of vitiligo, and an interesting thing is that a decrease in will not occur in the entire skin. Thus, vitiligo only happens in parts of the skin that lack adequate number of melanocytes.
It affects people of all types of complexion
You may be tempted to think that vitiligo only affects people with darker complexion, but that is not case. It is only clearly visible in dark skin but to exclusive to it.
The condition affects all races despite the fact that in people with white skin, it may be hard to notice, sometimes. However, as undesirable as it is, vitiligo is neither contagious nor a threat to life. The only challenge is how it makes an affected person feel about his or her being.
You can live with vitiligo for years and still lead a normal life. In addition, while discoloration of the skin, often manifest as white patches is something about which to worry, especially during sunlight, there are remedies that can help.
Nevertheless, before we explore its causes, here is a quick run-through some symptoms of vitiligo:
- Change in color of eyeball or retina.
- Discoloration of inner mouth tissues and mucous membranes.
- White patches on the skin or in extreme, complete loss of skin pigmentation.
- Grey patches on the hair, eyebrows, beard, scalp and eyelashes.
An extent to which vitiligo occurs on the skin means it can affect many parts of the body, a few areas or one side. It can affect anyone at any age, symptoms usually begin to manifest before the age of twenty.
Causes: Is vitiligo a genetic disorder?
Several studies have sought to explain the cause of vitiligo. The most startling finding is that vitiligo is hereditary (genetic). It means, if there is a history of the infection in your family lineage, there is a real chance of becoming affected. However, that is not the only know cause.
Sunburn, exposure to harmful chemicals and stress are common triggers. Vitiligo is also caused by disorder in the body’s immunity system, in which case, white blood cells may react by attacking melanocytes.
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