Vitiligo is not shameful, Vitiligo unites our colors
Vitiligo is a constant skin condition. It causes the skin to lose its normal color, where white or uncolored patches emerge on the skin.
Vitiligo can influence any part of the body, but it commonly occurs on the face, neck, and hands, and gradually in the rest of the body. It is caused by a lack of Melanin.
This condition occurs when melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin, the chemical that provides skin its color, or pigmentation are destroyed by the body’s immune system.
To Mention: About 1% of the population has vitiligo around the world.
What are the symptoms of Vitiligo?
It often forms with minor small white patches that gradually extend over the body and increase within a few months. The dermatologists call this (loss of pigment) or (depigmentation).
persons who have vitiligo can lose pigment anywhere on their bodies. It may begin at any age but, according to most cases, it begins at the age of 30.
Here are the areas of skin where affected by vitiligo:
- Inside the mouth
Types of Vitiligo:
Also called: Unilateral
What are the causes of Vitiligo?
It occurs when the skin lacks a pigment (melanocytes) called “melanin”. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes,
and it provides us with our skin and hair color. So, this causes white or uncolored patches to form or appear on skin or hair. It’s not obvious precisely why the melanocytes disappear from the impacted areas of the skin.
Triggers of Vitiligo:
- A disorder of immunity
- Psychological stress
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Heredity (Family History)
Myths about vitiligo:
1- Vitiligo is contagious
It is common rumors about vitiligo, but it is not. You can not catch it from someone who has it.
2- Vitiligo does cause skin cancer
It is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the skin lacks a pigment (melanocytes) called “melanin”. So it does not cause skin cancer but immunotherapy for skin cancer may cause vitiligo.
What are the social and psychological effects of Vitiligo?
It impacts a person’s physical appearance. There are different associated social and psychological consequences. Most cases of depression and social anxiety have been announced in patients with vitiligo.
According to the analysis, 70% of women and 54% of men undergo intense self-esteem, social stigma, embarrassment, adjustment disorder avoidance of intimacy, shame, fear, suicidal ideation, and other psychiatric morbidities.
Here’s an example of a patient story: a 13-year-old Hispanic female patient
I was about 6 years old when I found out I had vitiligo. At first, I didn’t know what it was but I quickly learned.
When I was growing up, I didn’t care what I looked like. Then, I switched schools and I didn’t know what kids at school would say or think of me. However, they quickly learned and they accepted me for me.
They don’t care what I look like, which makes me feel happy. When I’m not at school, I will have my moments when I start to cry and tell myself horrible things like “I’m ugly,” “what did I do to deserve this,” and “I’m a horrible person.”
I know my family loves me for me, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. Now that I’m entering my teen years, I’ve started to care more about my self-appearance and self-esteem. I don’t feel pretty with my spots.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to my younger self [who] didn’t care. I look at pictures of myself without spots and say to myself,
“Wow, I didn’t remember what certain parts of my body looked like and now they look very different.” I know my teen years will be very different and I will need to turn to my family and friends for support.
What is the treatment for Vitiligo?
If vitiligo is harsh or causing sorrow to you, you may like to consider treatment. Vitiligo does cause white patches, although treatment options are available to diminish their appearance.
If the white patches are somewhat small or faded, you can cover them up by using skin camouflage cream.
You can either use steroid cream to restore some pigment, but it is worth mentioning that permanent use may cause stretch marks and thinness of the skin.
You can use phototherapy (treatment with light). If steroid cream does not work.
Despite treatment may help restore color to your skin, the effect does not usually last. Treatment cannot control the condition from spreading.
Vitiligo is not a shame, It is a kind of beauty, It unites us and unites our differences in one body.
CliniDo wishes you a life full of happiness and serenity!