What Causes Vitiligo
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition characterized by the loss of pigmentation resulting in white patches of skin.
Is Vitiligo a Contagious Disease?
Who Can Get Vitiligo?
Just about anyone is at risk for developing vitiligo. It’s affects all races and both genders. However, there are certain factors which can increase your chances of developing vitiligo. Generally, those who have autoimmune conditions within the family are at greater risk of developing vitiligo.
How Common is Vitiligo?
2-5% of the world’s population develops vitiligo between the ages of 10-30. In North America alone, it’s an estimated 2-5 million that have this condition.
What is The Cause of Vitiligo?
The exact cause of vitiligo is still unknown; however, there are various factors which may contribute to this disease: autoimmune reactions, genetics, and stress.
What Are The Symptoms of Vitiligo?
People who have vitiligo experience white patches of skin which develop on various parts of the body. Over time these white patches will grow larger in size.
How is Vitiligo Diagnosed?
Vitiligo is usually diagnosed by a doctor after a physical examination followed by inspection of the patient’s medical history. A blood test or biopsy may also done in order to rule out other possibilities.
How Do You Treat Vitiligo?
There are many conventional treatment methods for vitiligo including: oral corticosteroids, topical corticosteroids, UV light therapy, skin grafting, skin tattooing, and skin depigmentation of the surrounding skin.
How Effective Are Conventional Treatment Methods for Vitiligo?
There are both pros and cons of conventional medical treatments for vitiligo, however, none of these methods can produce guaranteed results.
Steroids may improve the condition of the skin when used long-term; however, this is generally not recommended because of the side effects associated with long term use.
Although it can be effective to a certain extent, light therapy is very costly, time consuming and can carry a risk of skin burn, eye damage, and increased susceptibility to skin cancer.
Skin grafting is very effective in theory, but in reality, it can have many complications including: rejection of the grafted skin, infection, and cobblestone effect (an abnormal appearance of the skin)