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5 Facts about Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes white patches on your skin and also around your eyes, mouth and nose. This pigmentation disorder causes the cells that produce pigment in your body, melanocytes, to be destroyed. In the United States this disorder affects between two and four million people and worldwide affects close to sixty five million people. Below are five facts about Vitiligo.
1.The Causes of Vitiligo are Unknown
While there are many theories around the causes of Vitiligo, the actual cause is unknown. Many doctors and scientists believe that Vitiligo is correlated with a group of three genes that are directly related to pigmentation. Vitiligo is widely believed to be an auto-immune disease yet what triggers the disorder has not been scientifically proven. Some believe that a sunburn or even emotion distress can trigger Vitiligo.
2.Vitiligo is Gender Neutral
Unlike other disorders, Vitiligo affects men and women equally, although those with darker complexions are more likely to have this disorder. Furthermore, Ninety five percent of people with Vitiligo develop the condition before the age of forty. Family history also plays an important role in your risk for Vitiligo and those with other auto-immune diseases are also more susceptible.
3.There is No Way to Predict the Spread of Vitiligo
While there are a variety of patterns of Vitiligo, it is impossible to know where or if it will spread. For some people Vitiligo spreads slowly, for others it may spread quickly and for some not spread at all. Most cases where Vitiligo is located in only one specific area of the body (focal or segmental pattern) it often will not spread.
4.Vitiligo is not Harmful Medically
Vitiligo is not harmful and causes no physical pain but has been shown to cause serious emotional and psychological stress. This is especially true if it affects visible areas of your skin. Some people take topical steroid, use cosmetics to cover the white patches or use light therapy while others take a more dramatic approach and have skin grafts to cover the white patches of skin. The most important issue is to address any feelings of depression or emotional distress with your doctor.
5.There is No Cure for Vitiligo
Since there is no cure for the condition, it is important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Always where sunscreen when you are out in the sun. Tanning will only make the contrast in your skin more noticeable. Realize that just because there is no cure does not mean that there are not things you can do to improve yourself mentally and physically.
Like all skin disorders, make sure you consult a doctor to get a proper medical diagnosis. Through a medical exam and lab tests your doctor can diagnose Vitiligo and let you know the best ways to control and treat the skin disorder.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Pigmented Skin2 Mar 2011|