Vitiligo: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment and Faq’s

What is Vitiligo?

The long term condition where the skin starts losing its pigment, where skin will become patches and converted into pale white color and appear in different parts of the body. The hair on the skin and inner parts of the mouth and nose also convert into pale white color. Firstly the patches begin on the outer part of the skin that is exposed to sunlight. According to Wikipedia, almost 1% of the world population affected by Vitiligo.

vitiligo

Types Of Vitiligo:

There are two types of vitiligo

  1. Segmental
  2. Non- Segmental

Segmental

  • Segmental is nonuniform Vitiligo and spreads rapidly, it is more constant and stable when compared to Non-segmental vitiligo.
  • This type of vitiligo is very rare and seen only 10% of the cases. Segmental vitiligo mainly occurs in the areas where skin attached to nerves.
  • It mainly occurs to the people who are in younger age

Non-Segmental

  • If the white patches are formed uniformly on the body is called Non-segmental vitiligo. This type of vitiligo is common for 90% of cases.
  • The patches appear uniformly on both sides and mainly occurs on the body parts like Neck, nose, face, hands that are exposed to the sun.
  • The Non-segmental vitiligo is further divided into 5 types:
    1. Generalized
    2. Acrofacial
    3. Mucosal
    4. Universal
    5. Focal
Generalized:

The patches occur on the body which has no particular size and shape and can occur any part of the body. This is the most common type.

Acrofacial:

In this type of vitiligo, the patches occur mainly on toes, fingers, and hands.

Mucosal:

If the white patches occur around mucous membranes and lips is called Mucosal.

Universal:

If the vitiligo spreads almost every part of the body then it is Universal.

Focal:

The white patches occur discontinuously on a body then it is focal, it is mostly seen in children.

Causes Of Vitiligo:

The changes in the immune system are considered as the main cause of vitiligo. In most cases, Vitiligo occurs genetically the hair color and skin color are determined by melanocytes which generate melanin. If that melanocyte stops producing melanin then Vitiligo occurs.

In some cases, sunburns are the causes for Vitiligo The people with dark skin are more affected by vitiligo Industrial chemicals will also affect the production of melanin that will cause vitiligo.

The major symptom is white patches on the skin, change in color in the inner layer of the eyeball. Vitiligo can start at any age but often seen in people who are below 20. The white patches will be irregular and cause irritation, discomfort, and dryness in the skin.

The symptoms of vitiligo are different for different people like some people will be effected only by some parts of the body whereas some are affected on two sides of the body and for some people, vitiligo is limited for only one particular part.

vitiligo symptoms

Vitiligo Prevention

Despite any evidence, some people prevented vitiligo by following some tips.

  • Drinking a lot of water can boost body immune system that can prevent vitiligo
  • Having green leafy vegetables, fruits like banana, apple can prevent vitiligo
  • To prevent the formation of white patches avoid consuming alcohol, coffee, fish, red meat.
  • Consuming food which contains vitamin B, C, amino acids and Folic acids can prevent these white patches.
  • Adding minerals like copper, zinc, iron to your food will also help.
  • The skin pigment cells are destroyed when the skin is affected by wounds, burns, sunburns. That can cause vitiligo. Avoiding deep skin woods and burns will prevent vitiligo.
vitiligo prevention

Vitiligo treatments

Vitiligo does not have a permanent cure, the treatment is only to stop spreading vitiligo. Treatment for vitiligo works better if it started at an early stage( perhaps before 2 or 3 months after starting). If the white spots are developing slowly then we can treat very fast then other vitiligo cases. If the skin parts contain more hair then there are chances of curing vitiligo is high when compared to the skin parts with less hair because the pigments in the hair will migrate to the upper surface of the skin to repigment the skin.

The best parts of skin that are recovered very fast are Face, Chest, Arms, legs. And hands, wrist, feet, hips have fewer chances of recovery after treatment.

Types of treatments:

  • Non-Cultured Epidermal cellular drafting
  • Steroid Creams
  • Uv therapy
  • Excimer laser
  • Depigmentation
  • Micro tattooing

FAQ’s

Here are some Faq’s about Vitiligo

When melanocytes stop producing melanin, then white patches start on the body. Vitiligo can start at any age but it predominantly appears between 20 and 30 years age group. It often appears on the body parts which are exposed to the sun and slowly spread throughout the body. The main reason for vitiligo is loss of pigmentation. It appears equally in both men and women.

Vitiligo often occurs in different individuals in the same family. Almost 30 to 40% of people who are affected with vitiligo also have a family member in it. There are 5% chances that vitiligo can transfer from mother to baby. But still, there is no particular proof of how and why vitiligo is hereditary.

Yes, we can stop spreading vitiligo by immediate medication. After recognizing the white patches on the body immediately consult a dermatologist to stop spreading all over the body.

Vitiligo occurs due to the loss of pigment in the skin. But there are no research proofs that vitiligo will cause cancer. But in some cases, skin cancer affected people are also affected by vitiligo. But till now there is no proof that vitiligo will cause cancer.

Myth: Vitiligo is only affected by dark skin people Fact: Vitiligo can be affected by any race of people, but the probability is high for people with dark skin. Myth: Vitiligo is a type of skin cancer Fact: Vitiligo is not skin cancer and it is not related to any cancer. It occurs due to the loss of pigmentation. Myth: Vitiligo only occurs to the out part of the body which are exposed to sunlight Fact: Vitiligo not only occurs on the outer part of the body that is exposed to the sun but also spreads to the whole body which is not exposed to the sun like arms, knees, hips. Myth: Vitiligo occurs by having certain combinations of food. Fact: Vitiligo does not affect food habits. Myth: Vitiligo is contagious. It will spread from one person to another person when physically connected. Fact: Vitiligo is not contagious.

There is no difference between leucoderma and vitiligo. Leuco means white and derma means patches. Another name of vitiligo is leucoderma.

Vitiligo will not be caused by stress but, if melanocytes stop producing melanin then vitiligo occurs. There are some cases where vitiligo is increased by stress. If a person is already affected by vitiligo then the white patches will spread over the body if he is stressed.

If the body has a less immune system then the melanocytes stop producing melanin that causes vitiligo. So there is no separate diet for vitiligo. A particular fruit or food cannot cure vitiligo. A proper and complete nutritional diet from different fruits and vegetables will prevent vitiligo.

Many people believe that milk causes vitiligo or milk is not advisable for vitiligo patients. But it is just a myth. As milk contains calcium and nutrition levels that improve immunity in the body. So as milk is an essential diet for the people who are having vitiligo.