Vitiligo: the main causes of the disease and treatment methods

Vitiligo is one of those skin diseases, the mystery of which scientists have not yet figured out. It does not threaten human life, does not affect the internal organs, causing only psychological discomfort due to a cosmetic defect. With vitiligo, depigmentation foci appear on the body, which are more noticeable the darker the skin. The appearance of colorless spots is explained by the fact that in these foci there are no melanocytes – the cells that are responsible for pigmentation. The lack of melanin can cause even black people to have milky white spots on their bodies.

The causes of vitiligo

It is difficult to determine the cause of vitiligo in each case. It is precisely known that the disease has a hereditary predisposition, since family cases are known. Psychosomatics in vitiligo also plays an important role. Often people first encounter this disease after suffering stress. In addition, triggers for the development of vitiligo can be:

  • trauma;
  • autoimmune processes;
  • intoxication;
  • diseases of the internal organs;
  • contact with harmful substances, especially phenol.

But most people never know why white spots first appeared on their skin.

Vitiligo can appear on any part of the body, but most often it is localized on the hands, elbows and knees, as with psoriasis. Separate small spots can merge with each other, forming large foci. 

At the same time, the hair also loses its pigment. For example, if the disease has affected the eyelids, then eyelash vitiligo can be observed.

Vitiligo treatment

It is impossible to completely get rid of vitiligo. This is a chronic disease, possibly with a genetic basis. A situation often occurs when vitiligo is combined with other dermatological pathologies arising from increased skin reactivity, for example, with atopic dermatitis. This suggests that the causes of the disease may lie in individual characteristics that cannot be changed. We are talking about heredity, genetic mutations, skin sensitivity, the body’s susceptibility to allergens, and the characteristics of immunity. 

In all other cases, supportive treatment is used to control the appearance of new spots. For this, antioxidants, vitamins aimed at maintaining skin health, and immunomodulators can be used. Good results are obtained by strictly dosed ultraviolet radiation, but sunbathing without protection will have to be abandoned – the skin devoid of melanocytes burns very quickly and becomes blistered. People with vitiligo should definitely use products with an SPF of at least 50, applying them to vitiligo lesions. 

event_note August 6, 2021

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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