Vitiligo – A Skin Pigmentation Disease

If one were to look at diseases that can be really scary and distressing then Vitiligo is definitely one of them. This is the ailment that causes the patient to lose the natural color of their skin in blotches of all sizes in virtually any part of their body. Mercifully it is not in any way a life-threatening or infectious ailment.

What makes Vitiligo even scarier is the fact that it is unpredictable as to what extent it can attack a person’s body or at what rate it can spread in the body. Hardly surprising because it is suspected that it all comes down to the genes and DNA of an individual.

Man with Vitiligo

Despite plenty of research being done on this disease, experts still do not know nearly enough to combat it effectively and provide permanent treatment solutions.

  • Are there exceptions to where Vitiligo can attack? – This is a disorder that has been known to touch skin virtually anywhere in the body. And that also includes the insides of the mouth and eyes. Even the hair can also show signs of vitiligo.
  • Does it spread rapidly or at a slow pace? – More often than not it will tend to spread. But then this does not happen in all cases and there are some recorded instances where a second blotch never appears. For others it will spread at a snail’s pace taking many years to spread its’ tentacles into many parts of the body.
  • Emotion and stress; Are they linked? – There are case studies where it has been noticed that more colorless patches appeared as a result of some kind of stress in the patient’s life. The stress could be of a purely emotional nature but cases of faster spread occurring immediately after physical strain have also been noted.
  • What is the link between Vitiligo and sun exposure? – Vitiligo patches tend to be more rampant on parts of the body that happen to be exposed to the sun. And it seems that darker or colored races are the most vulnerable and more likely to get this ailment than others.

Areas More Likely to be Targeted

Here is a list of body parts that are commonly attacked by the syndrome:

  • Face
  • Lips
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Arms
  • Armpits and groin
  • Around the mouth
  • Eyes
  • Navel
  • Genitals
  • Nostrils

What Really Causes Vitiligo?

There are a handful of theories out there as to what may be the real cause of this disease. However the most likely suspected culprit is that it is an autoimmune ailment. Autoimmune ailments usually happen when the immune system, for reasons that are not clear, suddenly and inexplicably starts to attack its’ own cells.

Most researchers also suspect that having certain genes make a person more likely to and up with Vitiligo spots on their body at some point in their lives.

Treatment

All known treatment is mainly cosmetic and helps to recover the appearance of the individual rather than heal the root cause. In other words it is on the list of disorders that still has no permanent cure.

Side Effects of Treatments

Most treatments, which are all used to deal with the symptoms, tend to have side effects. Others fail to work completely in some patients or may end up taking quite a long time to start showing signs of success.

Treatments for Vitiligo tend to fall under the broad categories of both medicinal and surgical. These include the use of certain creams that are applied to all the affected areas, ultraviolet treatment and a combination of both the medicinal remedy and ultra-violet administered together.

Surgical solutions to Vitiligo are usually in the form of skin grafts being applied by the surgeon on affected skin. This is usually most effective in patients with very small spots. Placing tattoos in the affected areas is another option that is available to those suffering from Vitiligo

Change of Appearance

Nobody likes to be stared at as they walk down the street. However this is unavoidable with Vitiligo since it is a disease that attacks the very appearance of a person.

Conclusion

Although a way to get rid of the disease in the body is yet to be found by researchers, many with the ailment have been able to control the symptoms and live very normal lives.

References:

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/vitiligo/vitiligo_ff.asp

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitiligo/basics/symptoms/con-20032007

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

www.nccenterfornursing.org - Copyright © 2017