Seeing white patches on the skin may indicate vitiligo. The patches can spread across the body and the cause may be due to the destruction of the melanocytes, which are the cells that are responsible for creating pigmentation or color to the skin. The extent of loss of skin color varies from one person to another and the affected area will look as plain white patches. It is possible for the condition to appear in the mouth and eyes. Vitiligo is not a contagious disease of the skin, but can have a significant impact on an individualís self esteem and confidence. It is possible to develop depression caused by the condition, which makes it essential to understand what is vitiligo and to understand the course of the disease and learning its proper management.
Who are susceptible of vitiligo and what makes you at risk
People from various races and skin colors are equally susceptible to developing vitiligo. The disease usually appears before the age of 21 and the moment one has it, it rarely goes away. This means that one has to endure living with their skin condition during their lifetime. Individuals with a family history of vitiligo are at a higher risk of developing the condition, including people with an autoimmune disease. Doctors believe that vitiligo is associated with other medical conditions, such as thyroid dysfunction. The main cause of the condition remains to be unclear, but there is a high suspicion that it is an autoimmune disease that causes the bodyís antibodies to attack and destroy the melanocyte producing cells. One who is exposed to certain chemical may also become suspectible to the condition. Other studies also linked vitiligo to genetic oxidative stress imbalance, viral infection and skin injuries, such as sunburn.
Classic symptoms of vitiligo
The major indication of vitiligo is the formation of white patches on the skin. It may form locally within a specific body part, such as the eyes, nose, navel, genitals, groin, armpits, and rectal area. However, the patches may form anywhere in the body on some individuals. The most common areas where the white patches appear are those skin areas that are usually exposed to the sun. The pattern of growth of these white patches is usually sporadic. Its growth can be widespread to one person, but can be localized in another. It may spread over the years to some, but may remain localized in other. It was also noted that the white patches spread quickly when one is under emotional or physical stress.
Coping with vitiligo
It is not easy to cope with vitiligo. Many sufferers experienced emotional stress because of their condition, while others are likely to develop depression and low self esteem. The idea that the skin condition may exist throughout your lifetime is stressful enough, but there are many ways of coping with the condition.
Finding a doctor who can help you treat the symptoms of vitiligo will help you manage your condition better. Professional doctors can help in giving you advice on the property coping mechanisms to observe during the course of the disease and can offer you various forms of treatment options. Cosmetics that can cover the white patches can also help you improve your skin appearance. It also helps to form a support group where you can mingle with other people with vitiligo and ask for advice on how they cope with their condition positively.
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