World Vitiligo Day, which is celebrated on June 25, is an initiative that aims to build global awareness about Vitiligo which affects 1-2% of the world’s population.

Loss of color in the skin resulting in various patterns on the skin of pigment loss. It can have a significant negative social or psychological impact on patients, due to the many misconceptions that still exist in large parts of the world.

What Causes It?

Vitiligo is caused by a lack of melanin pigment in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its color. It affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. 

Vitiligo can begin at any age, but it usually appears before the age of 30. In cases of autoimmune diseases, the immune system does not function properly. Instead of attacking foreign cells such as viruses, the immune system attacks healthy body tissues, including skin melanocytes, which make melanin. 

Symptoms

The areas of skin most commonly affected by vitiligo include:

  • Mouth and eyes
  • Fingers and wrist
  • Armpits
  • Thigh
  • Inside the mouth

It can also sometimes develop at the roots of a hair. A lack of melanin in the epidermis can turn the hair in the affected area white or gray.

Vitiligo often begins as a pale patch of skin that gradually turns all white. The center of the spot may be white with pale skin around it. If there are blood vessels under the skin, the spot may be slightly pink instead of white.

The edges of the spot may be smooth or irregular. 

Types

1- Global Vitiligo: covers almost all areas of the skin.

2- General Vitiligo: covers many parts of the body. The most common type, discolored spots often develop on opposite body parts (symmetrically).

3- Partial Vitiligo: covers only one side or part of the body. This type tends to appear at a younger age, develop for a year or two and then stop.

4- Localized (focal) vitiligo: covers only one or a few areas of the body.

5- Vitiligo of the extremities and face: the affected skin is on the face and hands, and around the openings of the body, such as the eyes, nose, and ears.

It is difficult to predict how the disease will progress. Sometimes the spots stop without treatment, and in most cases, the loss of pigment spreads and eventually involves most of the skin, and sometimes the skin regains its color.

Treatment

The treatment of vitiligo depends on its type. Partial and focal types are among the easiest ones to treat, and the most difficult is global vitiligo. Doctors have come up with treatment methods, the most important of which are:

  • Color retrieval
  • Color removal
  • Treatment with devices (PUVA)
  • Narrow beam UV therapy
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgical treatment
  • Autologous melanocyte transplantation

When to Dee a Doctor?

See your doctor if you notice a sudden change in the color of your skin, hair, or mucous membranes.

Click here to book an appointment with the best Dermatologists in UAE


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