Vitiligo is a progressive disease that presents depigmentation on the skin. The most common subtype is vitiligo Vulgaris.
The most affected parts include the arms, lips, mouth, eye, nose, hands, navels, knees, feet, and genitals. It can also cause depigmentation of mucous membranes in the gums and loss of hair color.
Vitiligo appears at any age. Its highest incidence occurs in young adults during their twenties and thirties.
This disease is more apparent in people with darker skin due to the contrast that can be seen with light spots and where it straightforward to delimit the affect skin from healthy skin. The lesions are usually symmetrical, affecting the body bilaterally. In some cases, Vitiligo may be restrict to just one-half of the body.
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What are the causes of Vitiligo?
Genetic factors appear essential, as 20-30% of patients have a positive family history of the disease. Even so, the causes of Vitiligo are still not well understood.
The disease is also believe to have an autoimmune origin, with inappropriate production of antibodies and a type of white blood cell (T lymphocytes) against the cells responsible for the production of skin pigment (melanocytes).
It may also be related to:
- A triggering event, such as a sunburn.
- An episode of stress.
- Exposure to industrial chemicals.
- An illness in which the melanocytes in the skin are attack and destroy by the immune system.
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What are the Symptoms of Vitiligo?
Among them, we can consider:
- Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose (mucous membrane).
- Loss or change of color in the inner layer of the eyeball (retina).
- Loss of irregular pigmentation in the skin.
- Premature white or gray discoloration of hair on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard.
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What is the Treatment for Vitiligo’s?
The treatment that appears to be most effective is photochemotherapy, better known as PUVA.
It involves the activation of melanocytes, combining the use of psoralens with exposure to UVA rays 2 hours after taking them (two to three sessions per week for 6-18 months).
With this treatment, it has been possible to repigment the skin, reaching 50% of the cases. To prevent burns from occurring and to avoid the appearance of a likely melanoma due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, oral photoprotection treatment is usually add.
- Also, a skin depigmentation treatment is Carrie out using whitening creams for patients with widespread Vitiligo, and in whom the use of photochemotherapy has failed. In addition, The objective of this is to unify its color of it. It consists of an irreversible process and leads to dry skin, itching, or dermatitis.
- You can use self-tanning makeup to camouflage the spots. The application of photo protectors is always recommend.
- The surgical procedure is another treatment in which active melanocytes from other body regions are transplant to the affect areas.
- A treatment that works better in cases of Vitiligo’s in which the condition unilateral—is known as melanocyte transplants.
- In the most severe cases, total depigmentation with hydroquinone is the last alternative. The depigmentation is perpetual and leaves the patient vulnerable to dangerous solar radiation.
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