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Everything you wanted to know about Vitiligo: a cause of white patches on skin

The condition of formation of white patches on skin or depigmentation of skin is caused by several causes, Vitiligo is one the causes which is not curable so far. These white spots can be seen on any area of the body. Since it is not easy to understand how this depigmentation of skin occurs lets understand it with example. The red color of tomato is because of one red colored pigment called lycopene, similarly our skin gets its characteristic color because of one pigment called melanin. So, when these melanin is not formed in enough amount by the body, it results in depigmentation of skin.

Underlying Causes for depigmentation of skin

            The exact reason is still not known. Vitiligo may be an immune system sickness. These illnesses happen when your immune system erroneously attacks some cells (melanocytes) of the body which are responsible for producing melanin. In vitiligo, the immune system may kill the melanocytes in the skin. A few skin specialists feel that the melanocytes shatter themselves. Others feel that a solitary occasion, for example, sunburn or anxiety condition may trigger the mechanism responsible for skin depigmentation.

Vitiligo skin patces

Who is more prone to this disorder of white spots on skin?

            Many individuals develop it in their twenties. The issue influences all races and both genders similarly, on the other hand, it is more obvious in individuals with dull skin. Individuals with certain immune system sicknesses, (for example, thyroid disorder) are more prone to develop white patches. It may also come from parents to children. The main symptom of this disorder is appearance of white patches on the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. It could also be present on armpits and groin (where the leg meets the body), around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, genitals, Rectal areas.

Does these white patches spread?

            There is no real way to tell if white spots will spread. For a few individuals, the white spots don't spread. Be that as it may, frequently the white patches will spread to different parts of the body. For a few individuals, white spots spreads gradually, over numerous years. For other individuals, spreading happens rapidly. A few individuals have reported more white patches after physical or emotional anxiety.

Diagnosis of Vitiligo

            The skin specialist may check family and medical history, physical exam, and tests to diagnose vitiligo.

Treatment for skin depigmentation

            Treatment options for skin depigmentation includes medical therapy, surgery, use of cosmetics and herbal therapy. But the fact remains that all these forms of treatment options available so far cannot cure vitiligo skin patches or prevent development of new patches, they can only help cosmetically, if at all to a certain extent.

Medical therapy includes the use of medicines (e.g. creams) that you can apply on the skin or medication to be swallowed. Some medical therapy also includes use of UV light. Removing the normal skin color to match white spots is also an alternative.

In surgical treatment, the skin specialist remove the normal colored skin from other unaffected areas and graft it on affected areas. Tattoo on the affected area is also a famous alternative now a days.

Some cosmetics like sunscreen or some foundation creams to cover skin patches are also used now a days.

Herbal remedies like turmeric, honey, neem, cabbage may also help in better management of this skin depigmentation disorder.