Vitiligo is a disease of the skin that causes depigmentation. Although no one is absolutely sure of its causes there are some common theories which are widely accepted. In this article we would discuss probable vitiligio symptoms and its treatment.
It is widely thought that vitiligo is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system acts upon your own body – whether it is your organs or your tissue. Our bodies produce a protein called cytokins and when someone has vitiligo, these proteins alter pigment-producing cells which in turn cause them to die. One of the most famous singers of all time, Michael Jackson, was thought to have the vitiligo disease.
The Symptoms Of Vitiligo:
It is common for people who suffer from this disease to experience vitiligo symptoms as early as the age of 20, and most experience them before the age of 40. A person will begin to notice white patches – which is the action of depigmentation – around areas of the skin. These areas can commonly be found on areas of the skin that have been exposed to sun light and include the sensitive areas of the skin including face, lips, armpits, groins, and hands and feet – although it is known to appear in other areas of the body as well.
There are usually three different patterns that the disease comes in. There is the segmental pattern which is patches that develop on one side of the body, the focal pattern in which the patches are limited to one or only a few areas, and the generalized pattern (the most common) in which the depigmentation occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body.
Dark colored people may also see depigmentation inside the mouth, and other vitiligo symptoms include premature graying of the scalp, beards, or eyelashes and eyebrows.
Treatment For Vitiligo:
People with the disease have a few options. Results usually take a while (6-18 months) so patience is a virtue when you are battling this disease. You may choose to undergo surgery or try one of these topical methods.
These medical therapies include:
Regarded as one of the most effective treatments for the diseases in the United States, this type of therapy is also known as psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy. Psoralen contains chemicals and these chemicals react with ultraviolet light to cause the darkening of the skin. After you take the medicine either orally or topically you will have to either –
A) Sit out in the sun or
B) Use a specially made lamp to receive ultraviolet light.
This medicine may have some severe side effects however, so you might want to make extra sure with your doctor that it is the right drug for you.
Topical Steroid Therapy:
These types of creams can be very helpful in restoring your natural color if you use it in the early stages of the disease. Corticosteroids mimic the hormone cortisone which is produced in the adrenal glands. It will take 3 months of application to the skin before you start to see any results, but this treatment is the simplest and safest route to take (yet not the most effective). Some side effects may occur, especially in the weaker areas of the skin.
This may be the best option for people who have depigmentation on 50% or more of their body mass. This involved depigmentation of the rest of the skin by applying the drug monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (monobenzone) twice a day to pigmented areas until they match the areas that are already through depigmentation. This tends to be permanent, and reversal is not easy. You must avoid skin to skin contact for 2 hours after each application and you may experience some side effects like dry skin, redness, or swelling of the skin and your skin will hence forth be extra sensitive to sunlight.
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