Vitiligo

Vitiligo

It is a chronic skin condition characterized by white patches on the skin due to loss of the pigment. They usually have sharp margins and differ from the color of surrounding skin. The hair of the skin that has lost pigment may also become white. It can also occur inside the mouth and the nose also.

Typically, if we notice the white patches would begin to occur on areas of the skin that are more exposed to the sun. These white patches are more noticeable in people with dark skin. It results in emotional and psychological stress and those affected may be stigmatized.

Causes

When melanocytes (cells which are responsible for producing melanin that gives your skin, hair and eyes color) die or stop producing the pigment these white patches begin taking place on the skin. The reasons why these cells fail or die are still unknown to the doctors. However, some of the possible reasons may include:

  • An immune disorder in which the melanocytes in the skin is destroyed by your body's immune system

  • Genetic or Family history (heredity)

  • Triggers such as sunburn, stress or exposure to industrial chemicals.

Complications

People with Vitiligo may be at increased risk of:

  • Social or psychological distress

  • Sunburn and skin cancer

  • Eye problems, such as inflammation of the iris (iritis)

  • Hearing loss

  • Side effects due to treatment, such as dry skin and itching

Lifestyle and home remedies

The following self-care tactics may help you to improve its appearance.

Protect your skin from the sun and artificial sources of UV light-

If you are going for swimming or perspiring, apply sunscreen and reapply it even after every two hours. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, if you have vitiligo. Wear clothes that protect your skin from the overexposure to the sun, prevent sunburn and long-term damage. A bad sunburn even worsens the condition.

Conceal affected skin –

Many concealing products or cosmetics are available in the market that may improve the appearance of your skin affected by vitiligo and help you to feel better about yourself. You can try different brands of cosmetics to find out the one which blends well with your natural skin tone. You can also use self-tanners as the colour will stay for at least a few days but be careful while choosing a self-tanner and ensure that it must be FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved.

Don't get a tattoo -

Avoid tattooing. Many of the patients consider tattooing as a solution to hide the patches caused by Vitiligo but it should be avoided because of the possibilities of causing further damage to your skin. Getting a tattoo may aggravate the situation and result in the appearance of new patches on the skin.