What Is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a condition in which white patches develop on the skin. Any location on the body can be affected, and most people with vitiligo have white patches on many areas.
Causes and Risk Factors
The skin doesn’t have its characteristic color because it has lost its melanin. For some reason, the pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes have been destroyed.
We don’t know why this happens. It might be an autoimmune condition, where your body’s defenses turn on your own cells instead of attacking invading germs.
What are the Types ?
- Generalized, which is the most common type, when macules appear in various places on the body.
- Segmental, which is restricted to one side of the body or one area, such as the hands or face.
- Mucosal, which affects mucous membranes of the mouth and/or the genitals.
- Focal, which is a rare type in which the macules are in a small area and do not spread in a certain pattern within one to two years.
- Trichome, which means that there is a white or colorless center, then an area of lighter pigmentation, and then an area of normally colored skin.
- Universal, another rare type of vitiligo, and one in which more than 80% of the skin of the body lacks pigment.
How is Treated?
There is no cure for vitiligo. The goal of medical treatment is to create a uniform skin tone by either restoring color or eliminating the remaining color. Common treatments include camouflage therapy, repigmentation therapy, light therapy and surgery. Counseling may also be recommended.
How can I Prevent ?
Since no one knows for certain what causes vitiligo, no one can tell you how to prevent it. In general, it is smart for everyone to practice safe sun exposure habits and to take good care of your skin.
At Amrita Medical Center, our staff is happy to answer any of your questions and help you decide if the right fit for you. We even offer same day appointments for your convenience. Contact us here!