Dr. Anuradha Kakkanatt Babu, Consultant - Dermatology
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017
Vitiligo is a disease in which the pigment cells of the skin (melanocytes) are destroyed in certain areas of the body. This leads to loss of skin color and formation of de-pigmented/ white on the skin. Vitiligo can be focal (localised to one area) or may affect several different areas on the body at the same.
Vitiligo is a disease in which the pigment cells of the skin (melanocytes) are destroyed in certain areas of the body. This leads to loss of skin color and formation of de-pigmented/ white on the skin. Vitiligo can be focal (localised to one area) or may affect several different areas on the body at the same. Though the exact cause of vitiligo is still unknown, most healthcare experts believe that it is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys certain cells within the body itself. Vitiligo can also seen as a possible genetical condition, as it tends to run in families. It can also arise as a result of other medical conditions including thyroid dysfunction.
Most people with Vitiligo start developing symptoms before the age of 40; and almost half of them experience early symptoms by the age of 20.
Vitiligo is NOT contagious and does not spread through touch. It’s not painful and does not cause any other associated health complications. However, it can have major emotional and psychological impact on the person as it affects his/her physical appearance drastically. Though there is no definite cure, some medicines can manage this condition effectively. There is no known way to prevent vitiligo and it is also not possible to determine whether it will spread or remain confined to one location.
Though vitiligo cannot be cured, it can be treated efficiently and the person can lead a good quality life. The treatment plan will be decided after taking into consideration the number of patches and how much the patches have spread. Hence the treatment that suits one person may not suit the other. Besides, treating vitiligo is an extremely time-consuming process that comes with possible side effects.
Current treatment options for vitiligo include medical, surgical, and other treatments. Most treatments are aimed at restoring color to the white patches of skin
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