Vitiligo is a disorder that causes the loss of natural skin color in blotches.It is also known as vi-uh-lie-go.The rate and extent by which you lose color from vitiligo is unpredictable. This disease can affect other parts of your body. Your eyes can lose part of their color; you can lose color inside your mouth and also a section of your hair can turn white. Vitiligo can make you develop low self-esteem; you may no longer want to hang out with your friends and this can make you develop serious depression. You should know that this disorder is not contagious or a life-threatening disorder. If you are suffering from Vitiligo, you should not feel bad or get stressed. All you need to do is to connect with others who have vitiligo. It is also important to join a coping strategy that guides people on how to cope with Vitiligo.
What are the types of Vitiligo?
Vitiligo disorder is composed of two main types. The first type is non-segmental Vitiligo, while the second one is segmental Vitiligo.
Non-segmental Vitiligo: This type of Vitiligo disorder is also known as generalized or bilateral Vitiligo. In this type of Vitiligo, symmetrical white patches appear on both sides of your body. These symmetrical patches can appear on the arms, knees, the eyes, back of your hands, feet, and elbows. This non-segmental Vitiligo disorder is the most common. It affects nine out of ten people with Vitiligo condition.
Segmental Vitiligo: This type of Vitiligo disorder is also called localized or unilateral Vitiligo. In this case, the white patches affect one area of your body. It is more in children and affects three out of ten children with Vitiligo disorder.
What causes Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is normally caused by lack of melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by melanocytes which gives your skin color. If you lack enough melanocytes to create enough melanin in your skin, then you suffer from Vitiligo. Research has shown that one or more genes can also cause Vitiligo disorder.
What are the symptoms of Vitiligo?
When you discover white patches on your skin, know that you have some symptoms of Vitiligo. You will have these white patches in areas where your skin is exposed to the sun. These patches may be on the arms, feet, hands, lips, and face. You will find other white patches on the rectal areas, navel, genitals, eyes, around the mouth, nostrils, the groin or even in the armpits. If you are suffering from Vitiligo disorder, you will have your hair turn gray early. Also note that if you have a dark skin, you will notice some color loss inside your mouth.
Is there a treatment for Vitiligo?
Recent treatment for Vitiligo disorder includes; surgical, medical and other treatment aimed at restoring color on the white patches of skin. The choice of these treatments will depend on the treatment that you will prefer, the number of white patches and how the patches are spread within your body. Not all treatments are right for everyone. This is because many treatments have unwanted side effects. Medical treatments include; removal of the color from other areas to match the white patches, curative drugs that you can take by mouth as well as creams that you can apply on the skin. Surgical treatment includes; tattooing areas of skin and skin grafting from your own tissues.You can also explore other treatment methods such as counseling and support or even use sunscreens and cosmetics such as dyes to cover the white patches.