The Vitiligo Skin Condition Explained In Plain English

The Vitiligo Skin Condition Explained In Plain English



The Vitiligo Skin Condition Explained In Plain English
Vitiligo
White patches on​ the​ skin,​ premature graying of​ the​ scalp,​ eyelashes,​ eyebrows,​ and beard,​ and sometimes a​ loss of​ color inside the​ mouth—these are some of​ the​ distinct signs of​ vitiligo .​
Some people might mistake it​ as​ a​ disease brought about by too much sun exposure .​
While signs of​ this disease commonly appear in​ the​ sun-exposed areas of​ the​ body,​ the​ cause of​ vitiligo is​ generally unknown .​
Doctors and researchers have formulated several theories... .​

One would be that people develop antibodies (produced by the​ immune system,​ these are protective proteins which fight infectious agents including bacteria and viruses) which destroy melanocytes (special skin cells that produce melanin) in​ their own bodies; two,​ that melanocytes destroy themselves; and three,​ that a​ particular event,​ such as​ sunburn or​ emotional distress,​ triggers these distress—all of​ which have no scientific backing yet .​
Another theory says that is​ hereditary,​ making children whose parents are affected,​ prone to​ the​ disorder .​
Vitiligo affects 40 to​ 50 million of​ the​ world’s population,​ including all races males and females .​
Majority of​ the​ people affected by vitiligo usually develop it​ before turning 40 .​
Given the​ shady causes of​ vitiligo,​ doctors make it​ a​ point to​ find out about important factors in​ an​ affected person’s medical history—family history,​ a​ rash or​ a​ skin trauma two to​ three months before depigmentation began,​ stress,​ physical illness,​ and / or​ premature graying of​ the​ scalp .​
While a​ scientific breakthrough is​ yet to​ be done determining the​ cause of​ vitiligo,​ several preventive measures have been developed over the​ years .​

Treatment
Treating vitiligo would always prove to​ be risky .​
the​ side effects of​ treatments are as​ unpredictable the​ disorder’s cause .​
That is​ why vitiligo treatment should always be done with utmost care and patience.
A person’s own tissues mat be used for surgical treatment through autologous skin grafts .​
the​ doctor removes portions of​ the​ pigmented skin and then replaces the​ affected skin with it .​
Possible complications for this treatment include infections,​ scarring,​ a​ cobblestone appearance,​ or​ a​ spotty repigmentation .​
the​ greatest risk would be the​ skin’s failure to​ repigment at​ all.
Another surgical treatment using the​ pigmented skin is​ skin grafts using blisters .​
the​ patient’s pigmented skin is​ exposed to​ heat,​ which then causes blisters .​
These blisters are cut off and then transplanted to​ the​ depigmented area.
Another simpler option is​ tattooing or​ micropigmentation .​
This is​ usually done on​ patients with dark skin .​
Tattoos,​ however,​ tend to​ fade in​ time and may even lead to​ blister outbreaks.
Lastly,​ vitiligo can be cured surgically through autologous melanocyte transplants .​
Multiplying a​ patient’s pigmented skin through a​ special cell culture solution that grows melanocytes does this .​
the​ reproduced skin then is​ transplanted over the​ depigmented areas .​

Additional therapies include sunscreens,​ which helps protect the​ screen from the​ damaging effect of​ the​ sun .​
Cosmetics,​ on​ the​ other hand,​ are temporary solutions,​ which are used to​ cover up the​ patient’s affected areas.
Adverse Effects
For a​ person affected by vitiligo,​ the​ first few white patches that appear on​ his skin can be quite tolerable .​
These patches usually appear in​ patterns .​
These patterns have three forms .​
One is​ the​ focal pattern wherein depigmentation occurs in​ a​ limited area .​
Second is​ the​ segmental pattern wherein patches appear only on​ one side of​ the​ body .​
Third,​ which is​ probably the​ worst one,​ is​ the​ generalized pattern wherein the​ depigmentation occurs in​ different areas of​ the​ body .​
Adding to​ this is​ the​ uncertainty of​ how the​ vitiligo will spread .​

For some people,​ the​ white patches spread gradually while for some,​ in​ quick succession .​
Some findings say that emotional distress can cause the​ affected areas to​ increase in​ number .​
Common areas of​ appearance are the​ armpits,​ groin,​ around the​ mouth,​ eyes,​ nostril,​ navel,​ and genitals .​
a​ person with vitiligo may also have premature graying of​ the​ scalp hair,​ eyelashes,​ eyebrows,​ and beard .​

There are several treatments for vitiligo patients .​
There are medical therapies,​ surgical therapies,​ and adjunctive therapies .​
Under medical therapies are topical steroid therapy,​ topical psoralen photochemotherapy,​ oral psoralen photochemotherapy,​ and depigmentation .​
Surgical therapy,​ on​ the​ other hand,​ include skin grafts from a​ person’s own tissue,​ skin grafts using blisters,​ micropigmentation or​ tattooing,​ and autologous melanocyte transplants .​
Coping with Vitiligo
Skin cleansers,​ moisturizers,​ toners,​ and facial masks—these are just some of​ the​ basic beauty maintenance products that are a​ part of​ a​ person’s daily regimen .​
It has long been accepted that the​ adage Real beauty is​ found within,​ is​ generally a​ concept that people raise their eyebrows at .​
While beauty is,​ as​ they say,​ skin-deep,​ physical appearance is​ the​ first thing that impacts on​ a​ person upon the​ first meeting.
When a​ person is​ affected by vitiligo,​ the​ change in​ his or​ her appearance can cause quite an​ emotional trauma .​
While some people attempt to​ appear blase,​ the​ white patches on​ the​ skin are actually quite hard to​ ignore especially if​ the​ person who has them is​ dark-skinned .​
the​ emotional trauma this causes affects the​ affected people in​ various manners depending on​ their age .​

For adolescents,​ this could be the​ root of​ severe insecurity .​
Going to​ school,​ wherein students generally don’t have the​ mature capacity to​ be discreet or​ sympathetic might prove to​ be difficult .​
the​ stares alone could prove to​ be traumatic to​ a​ teenager for these are the​ years wherein looks are of​ primary concern .​
For adults,​ some might find it​ hard to​ land jobs especially ones that involve dealing with people or​ public relations .​

There are several strategies that can be used to​ cope up with the​ emotional stress that comes with this disorder .​
the​ most important one would be finding a​ doctor who has inept knowledge of​ vitiligo and will give the​ patient a​ firm sense of​ security .​

Medical Therapies for Vitiligo
The manifestation of​ vitiligo’s effects on​ a​ patient’s body is​ seen not only through the​ white patches that appear but also through the​ weakening of​ the​ skin’s function .​
the​ occurrence of​ this disorder affects the​ melanin content of​ a​ person’s skin,​ thus making him more prone to​ the​ damaging effects of​ the​ sun .​
the​ primary goal of​ the​ treating vitiligo is​ to​ improve the​ person’s physical appearance and restore the​ important functions of​ the​ skin making him less susceptible to​ even more skin damage.
The first option is​ the​ medical therapies .​
When started early,​ topical steroid therapy helps a​ great deal in​ repigmenting the​ skin meaning returning the​ color to​ those white patches that have spread around the​ body .​
Doctors advice the​ patients to​ apply corticosteroids,​ which are a​ group of​ drugs that resemble the​ hormones produced by the​ adrenal gland .​
Results usually manifest after two to​ three months of​ application,​ taking note this is​ not a​ therapy to​ cure vitiligo but a​ treatment that can help.
Even if​ it​ is​ time-consuming,​ psoralen photochemotherapy is​ proving to​ be one of​ the​ most beneficial treatments for vitiligo patients .​
It is​ also known as​ the​ psoralen and ultraviolet a​ therapy) .​
Ultraviolet a​ (UVA) is​ a​ type of​ radiation that reaches the​ earth’s surface and cause the​ skin to​ tan while psoralens are drugs that contain chemicals,​ which react with ultraviolet light .​
This treatment is​ done by exposing the​ skin to​ UVA light from a​ special lamp .​
This must be done careful so as​ to​ not overexpose the​ skin.
Patients who will undergo psoralen photochemotherapy have two options: oral which is​ taking psoralen by mouth,​ and topical which is​ done by applying the​ medicine to​ the​ skin.




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