Vitiligo – loss of skin colour

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Vitiligo is a long-term problem in which growing patches of skin lose their color. It is a disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches. It can affect people of any age, gender, or ethnic group.
Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning. It is more noticeable in dark complexed persons.

It can affect any part of the body.
This condition though can be managed, it is incurable.

What causes Vitiligo?

Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce the melanin pigment (melanocytes) die or stop producing melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color.

The reason(s) why these pigment cells fail or die are yet unclear. It may be related to:
• Immune system disorder
• Family History
• Environmental factors such as severe sunburn or skin trauma such as contact with chemicals.

Symptoms

Vitiligo signs include:

  • Patchy loss of skin color, which usually first appears on the hands, face, and areas around body openings and the genitals
  • Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
  • Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose (mucous membranes)

How does the disease progress?

It’s difficult to predict how the disease progresses. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of the skin. Occasionally, the skin gets its color back.

How do you cure Vitiligo?

Vitiligo has no cure. But treatment might stop or slow the discoloring process and return some color to your skin.
Treatment options may include exposure to UVA or UVB light and depigmentation of the skin in severe cases.

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