Vitiligo is a long term and continual skin disease that results in depigmentation of the skin. It starts off as white patches and spreads to the rest of the skin. However, Vitiligo is more rampant on skin exposes to the sun. The reason of the white patches is the lack of melanocytes, the skin cells that are responsible for the production of melanin, giving the skin its natural color and saving it from UV radiation from the sun.
It is largely impossible to understand or predict how much of the patient’s skin is going to be affected, once the condition sets in. However, in most cases, the affect of the disease is largely restricted to the initial areas that the deficiency affects.
Causes of Vitiligo
It is highly important to understand the root causes of the skin condition to find out a possible cure. The cause of Vitiligo has been thoroughly established through decades of research. The common reason for the skin condition includes:
- Genetic or oxidative stress
- An overactive immune system – the reasons why Vitiligo is also considered an autoimmune disorder
- Other stressful events
- Critical sunburns, cuts and other extreme exposure
- Neural reasons
- Exposure to chemicals
- Viral roots
Vitiligo is a completely non-transferrable disorder and people coming in contact with an affected person aren’t at the risk of catching it. Globally, only about 1% of the population is affected by this condition, regardless of age, sex, and ethnicity. While the signs and symptoms of the disease vary between individuals it is found to be more common with people with naturally darker skin. The extent of the skin disorder ranges from a few white dots to larger patches affecting all skin area exposed to the sun.
Types of Vitiligo
Again the treatment for Vitiligo is largely dependent on the type of it. Doctors and researchers of this skin condition have segregated the disorder broadly into two types: segmental and non-segmental.
Segmental Vitiligo is quite rare and is found in only 10% of the patients. While the skin depigmentation spreads more rapidly with segmental Vitiligo, the condition is considered to be more stable and constant. Segmental Vitiligo also affects the individual at a much earlier age. Segmental Vitiligo also responds well to tropical treatments.
Non-segmental Vitiligo is the more common form of the disorder wherein the white patches become more visible on either side of the body. This is usually also a more symmetrical condition affecting areas like the neck, face, hands, mouth, knees, eyes, feet and elbows. Non segmental Vitiligo is again divided into five categories depending upon the area of the skin it has affected. They are generalized Vitiligo (with no specific affected area as such), mucosal Vitiligo (covering lips and mucus membrane), acrofacial Vitiligo (affecting toes and fingers), focal Vitiligo (small white patches affecting mostly children) and universal Vitiligo (affecting most of the body).
While there are no health effects of Vitiligo, it is more of a social stigma. There are several proven methods of treatment that help the affected restore the skin pigmentation. However, the speed of the treatment depends largely on the type of Vitiligo he/she is affected with. To know how to cure vitiligo visit their website.