What Is Vitiligo And How To Treat It?

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Bursting Some Common Myths About Vitiligo

1 Myth: People with vitiligo have patchy skin from birth which is because of having parents of mixed race

Fact: Vitiligo doesn’t have any relation with the ethnicity of the parents as it is caused due to skin pigmentation during birth. It is a medical condition with colored patches which are visible before 20.

2 Myth: Vitiligo is connected with other skin problems like leprosy, skin cancer, albinism, etc.

Fact: Vitiligo is a completely different skin condition with no resemblance to any of these skin diseases. It is a type of autoimmune disorder related to the immune system where the cells of the skin color are destroyed leading to vitiligo.

3 Myth: Vitiligo worsens when consumption of particular food combinations is done

Fact: Vitiligo is completely unaffected by the food ingredients you have. It doesn’t have any resemblance with the food combinations.

4 Myth: Meeting the people have vitiligo should be avoided as it is contagious

Fact: Vitiligo is neither infectious nor contagious. It doesn’t spread by sitting or having food with someone having it. So, there are zero reasons to avoid people having vitiligo.

5 Myth: Vitiligo and Leukoderma are the same

Fact: Vitiligo and Leukoderma are totally different conditions. Vitiligo is a condition that appears with no pre-existing conditions while Leukoderma comes with particular pre-conditions like post-DLE, post-burn, etc.

What is Vitiligo?

There is a myth prevailing among the people that vitiligo treatments and leukoderma treatments are the same. But the fact is that both are far different from each other. To understand this properly, it is important to first understand what is vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a kind of skin pigmentation disorder that creates white patches on the skin or on different body parts. In this disorder, the melanocyte cells are destroyed that leads to discoloration of skin, eyes and the hair too. As the cells are destroyed, white patches appear on the skin tone which may resemble a particular pattern, or result in severe sunburn due to which the skin peels off. Hyperthyroidism or any other autoimmune disease can also lead to vitiligo. The skin disease mainly is visible in areas like the elbows, hands, neck, face, feet and even the knee. But the fact is that it is can appear on the entire body. Vitiligo is a skin disorder which is not contagious or infectious as well. But it can have some genetic or hereditary marks.

Vitiligo can be bifurcated into three different types which include:

Generalized vitiligo –

In this type, the white patches symmetrically increase on both the body sides and is often seen affecting similar body sides.

Segmental vitiligo –

This type is widely observed on young children. The patches are observed on one side of the body only.

Localized vitiligo –

The white patches are visible on one or two body parts, which then spreads and progresses for some time and then stops.

Vitiligo is a long-term skin issue which can appear on people of any gender, age, and even ethnic group. The ratio of this disease appearing on the people’s skin is around 0.5 to 2 percent.

What Are The Symptoms Of Vitiligo?

The primary vitiligo symptoms include white patches on the skin due to loss of color. However, there is a particular pattern of discoloration that is observed differently in different people. The discoloration is basically observed on areas that are likely to be exposed to the sun like the lips, face, arms, feet and the hands.

Some other symptoms are:

  • Loss of color on the skin in patches.
  • Premature graying and whitening of the hair of the eyelashes, scalp, beard and even the eyebrows.
  • Color loss in the tissues that form a line inside the nose or mouth.
  • Change or loss of color in the inner side of the retina or eyeball.

The vitiligo symptoms would appear on the body at any age; however, it is generally observed before the person reaches 20. Even after observing the symptoms, it is quite difficult to know the progress direction of the disease. In some conditions, the patches would stop progressing without any kind of vitiligo treatments, while in some, you might need the help of some doctor. The chances of getting back your normal color are much little.

What Are The Causes Of Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition that occurs when the cells producing pigment stop the production of melanin or even die. The areas where the cells have died would start changing color and patches appear in a white or light color. No doubt, there are no particular vitiligo causes that mention why the cells die or fail to function, it can be related to situations as under:

  • Due to a disorder when the immune system destroys or attacks the melanocytes in the skin
  • Any family history of vitiligo
  • Any particular event like stress, sunburn, exposure to harmful chemicals in industries, etc.

Some complications observed with the vitiligo causes include increased risk of having psychological stress, social stress, skin cancer, sunburn, inflammation of the iris, eye problems, hearing loss, etc.

What Are Some Of The Vitiligo Treatments?

Vitiligo is a condition that is not infectious or contagious. Hence, the vitiligo treatments basically would be related to restoring of the skin color. With unpredictable results, each vitiligo cure comes with some serious side effect. The treatment might take weeks, months, or even years to cure as judging the effective treatment takes time.

Yet some of the conventional vitiligo treatments include:

  • Applying waterproof makeup and dyes for long lasting effect on vitiligo.
  • Corticosteroid creams prescribed by the dermatologists.
  • Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus ointments for depigmentation of patches.
  • Light therapy and psoralen along with oral medications for coloring the patches
  • Other depigmenting agents that treat the white patches.
  • Surgeries that carry out process like skin grafting, tattooing, blister grafting, etc.

Apart From All These, Some Of The Natural Ways For Vitiligo Cure Include

1. Needling

Skin needling is the promising vitiligo treatment these days. The needling process includes the usage of medical grade roller which is used by the professionals trained for it. The roller includes surgical needles that are 200 or more in count on the skin. The needles stimulate the elastin and collagen production that promotes scars and reduction in stretch marks. Again, it is important to find a qualified practitioner for the needling process to reduce the risk of any infections.

2. Folic Acid and Vitamin B12

While looking for natural vitiligo treatment, adding some food ingredients rich in folic acid and Vitamin B12 is also recommended. This also helps in reducing the chances of depression which is one of the widely observed side effects of vitiligo. Folate is helpful for the overall wellness and health as it reduces the risk of developing any heart issues along with some of the cancer types. It is also helpful during pregnancy.

3. Zinc

This is another commonly found deficiency in the people suffering from vitiligo. Zinc is an essential ingredient for supporting the immune system to make it strong. Again, zinc is also helpful in fighting against issues like diabetes and cancer that are autoimmune conditions. Zinc also supports the absorption of nutrients and helps in the repairing of tissues, muscles,and bones. So, including zinc in required portions would help in working on vitiligo.

4. Yoga

Vitiligo is not only a physical condition but a mental challenge too for the suffers. And with long-term unpredictable treatment, it becomes difficult to cope up with it mentally. Surprisingly, the list of vitiligo cure also includes practicing yoga postures. The people suffering from vitiligo also suffer from anxiety, depression and stress and yoga is the best natural way to deal with it. Working on the yoga postures would help in the improvement of mental attitude and focus which would reduce the depression and anxiety levels by improving the GABA levels.

5. Remain Hydrated

The health of the skin also depends on the hydration levels it contains. So, for the people suffering from vitiligo should drink plenty of clean and fresh water. If possible, drink water stored in the copper container around 24 hours before drinking for better hydration of the skin and body. Along with water, drinking coconut water in the diet is also helpful for balancing the electrolytes, reducing the stress levels and reducing the blood pressure too.

6. Watch What You Wear

Yes, the clothes you wear also hold an important role in vitiligo treatment. Avoiding tight clothes or clothes having elastic is also useful for working on vitiligo as such clothes interfere with the proper circulation of blood leading to vitiligo patches. Look for clothes that would help in protection against the harmful UV rays or direct sunlight. Make sure you avoid leather, plastic,and rubber in your apparel and accessories as it may lead to reactions causing patches.

Apart from all these, working on the stress levels, using a mixture of mustard oil and turmeric, avoiding particular ingredients in the meals, etc. is also helpful as vitiligo treatments. Focus on including nutrients like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Copper, etc. to your meals. Aloe Vera is also helpful in working on vitiligo. Look for meals that contain beets, sprouts, green leafy veggies, figs, dates, radish, almonds, chickpeas, dark chocolates, lentils, cottage cheese, raw dairy, etc. In this way, you can also deal with vitiligo slowly for effective results.

A Word Of Caution

The people suffering from vitiligo have increased risks of suffering from eye problems, hearing loss, skin cancer, sunburn, depression, stress, etc. Again, if you are looking for conventional treatments for vitiligo, make sure you talk with the doctor about all possible side effects before starting with it. Avoid things that lead to skin irritation as this affects vitiligo severely.

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