- It starts as a simple spot, a little paler than the rest of the skin, but as time passes, this spot becomes paler until it turns white.
- The patches are irregular in shape. At times, the edges can become a little inflamed with a slight red tone, sometimes resulting in itchiness.
- Normally, however, it does not cause any discomfort, irritation, soreness, or dryness in the skin.
- Some people may have only a handful of white dots that develop no further, while others develop larger white patches that join together and affect larger areas of skin.
- Lip tip vitiligo ( affecting lips and tip of fingers)
- Vitiligo in localised areas like only face
- Progressive vitiligo is vitiligo spreading over body involving new white spots
- Stabilised vitiligo is stable white spots under treatment
Effects / Causes
- An autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system becomes overactive and destroys the melanocytes
- Associated thyroid problems, pernicious anemia, nutritional deficiencie
- A genetic oxidative stress imbalance
- A stressful event
- Harm to the skin due to a critical sunburn or cut
- Exposure to some chemicals
- Heredity, as it may run in families
- A neural cause
Vitiligo treatment can ensure that the disease does not increase further. This includes applying some topical steroid creams / topical tacrolimus ointment & Topical moisturisers
Oral immunosuppresants like corticosteroids may be given in progressive vitiligo to stop disease from progressing.
Other treatments are done by exposing the affected area to rays-UVA/ UVB.
Vitiligo surgery is another method of treatment. However, this is usually recommended only for adults and once it is determined that the disease is stable- i.e. the vitiligo affected area is not increasing.
The course and severity of pigment loss differ with each person. In many cases, vitiligo begins in a small area. Over time, other spots may appear, while existing spots may grow larger. Some people notice that their vitiligo may stay the same for years or even decades, and then suddenly new areas of depigmentation may occur. Occasionally, vitiligo patches will repigment spontaneously, all by themselves, with no treatment whatsoever. Many people with vitiligo do notice this happening at some point in their lives.
The face, underarms, hands, wrists, fingers, feet, elbows, knees and genitals are among these areas. There are many theories about why such sensitive areas of the body seem to be commonly affected - the presence of many nerve endings, the bony nature, sweat glands, etc.
In many, but certainly not all cases, vitiligo does progress slowly over time, but there is really no way to tell whether your vitiligo will progress or not. It is a slow progressing condition however, and many patients report that they may go many years without new patches developing, and then may discover new patches appearing years later.
Vitiligo appears as uneven white patches on the skin, that may vary from lighter tan to complete absence of pigment. Many people develop vitiligo bilaterally, in other words, if it appears on one elbow, it often appears on the other elbow. Others develop what is known as segmental vitiligo, where the patches develop in only one area or on only one side of the body.
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