Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in the formation of white patches on the skin. In this case, any part of the body can be affected. Most people affected by Vitiligo have white patches appearing on many parts of their body.
Vitiligo symptoms include pigment loss, often rapid in nature, in several parts of the skin. A stable period without any progression of the condition is usually preceded by the initial appearance of the white patches. Further cycles of pigment loss may be observed later on. Areas on the skin that stay exposed to the sun, previous sites of injury and body folds (such as the area behind the knees) are the common sites that are affected by this condition. The pigment usually doesn’t return once the white patches start showing up. It might also affect the hair and the eyelids.
Causative factors for Vitiligo
The pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color is melanin. The loss of pigment in the skin causes Vitiligo. It happens due to the destruction of melanocytes which are the primary pigment-forming cells. The exact reason for the destruction of these cells is idiopathic or not known. One probable explanation is that the body's immune system kills the cells just like in other autoimmune conditions. In dark-skinned people, Vitiligo is more noticeable despite it affecting all races equally.
Prognosis and treatment of Vitiligo
The diagnosis of Vitiligo is relatively easy and can be performed during a physical exam. The prevention or cure of Vitiligo is unknown so far. Several methods such as cosmetics, re-pigmentation with the use of UV light therapy, application of corticosteroid creams and skin grafting might be used to improve or alter to an extent, the appearance of the skin, for those severely affected by Vitiligo. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!