Vitiligo (leucoderma) is the name of a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) in the skin are destroyed. As a result, white patches appear on the skin in different parts of the body. About 1-2% of the world population is affected by this skin disease. Thus, it is a common, often inherited disorder. Once the Vitiligo Symptoms are diagnosed, people from all around the world try different remedies to get rid of this disease and bring their skin color back to normal.
Vitiligo had been discovered many decades back. Ever since, people have been trying to figure out what exactly causes this chronic skin disorder. Many theories by researchers and doctors have emerged over the years. Evidence reveals that people suffering from vitiligo inherit a group of three genes which make them subject to depigmentation. The view regarding vitiligo being an autoimmune disease in which an individual’s immune system reacts against his/her body’s own organs is largely accepted far and wide. As such, people's bodies produce proteins called cytokines that alter their pigment-producing cells and cause these cells to die. Another very popular theory is that melanocytes destroy themselves. At last, some people have also reported that they got affected by vitiligo after a single event such as sunburn or emotional distress; nevertheless, these events have not been scientifically proven as causes of vitiligo.
There are three main patterns of vitiligo, including focal pattern in which the depigmentation is limited to one or only a few areas; segmental pattern in which depigmented patches develop on just one side of the body; and generalized pattern, the most common pattern, in which depigmentation occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body. Vitiligo can appear in one of these patterns.
Vitiligo can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race, but, it is more noticeable in people with dark skin or complexion. However, vitiligo is more likely to develop in people with certain immune diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, alopecia areata, and pernicious anemia; although, scientists still do not know the exact reason for the association between vitiligo and these autoimmune diseases. Nevertheless, vitiligo may also be hereditary; that is, it can run in families. The majority of the people, who have vitiligo, develop it before age of 20; whereas, some also develop it before the age of 40.
The symptoms of vitiligo are many, but the most basic one is that a person with this skin disease will first start noticing white patches developing on his/her skin. Vitiligo is more likely to affect the skin areas that are more exposed to the sun, such as hands, arms, feet, face and neck. The white patches can be found on these areas precisely. Other common areas for white patches to appear are the armpits and groin, and around the mouth, nostrils, eyes, navel, rectum and genitals. Other Vitiligo Symptoms that can be seen in people is the premature graying of the scalp hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard. The ones having dark skin may notice a loss of color inside their mouths as well.
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