( Leukoderma) A non preventable skin disorder
Definition: Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. The extent and rate of color loss from Vitiligo is unpredictable. It can affect the skin on any part of your body. It may also affect hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes.
Cause: Vitiligo occurs when melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) die or stop producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. The involved patches of skin become lighter or white. Doctors don't know why the cells fail or die. It may be related to:
- A disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys the melanocytes in the skin
- Family history (heredity)
- A trigger event, such as sunburn, stress or exposure to industrial chemicals
Symptoms may Include: Skin discoloration, premature whitening or graying of any body hair, loss of tissue color in your mouth and nose, loss or change of color in your retina( eyeball).
Diagnosis: In addition to gathering all your personal and family records, your doctor may take a small sample (biopsy) of the affected skin, and draw blood for lab tests.
Treatment for Vitiligo: No drugs can cure Vitiligo, but some drugs, used alone or with light therapy, can help improve your skin's appearance. These include: Corticosteroid creams, forms of vitamin D, ointments containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus (calcineurin inhibitors), combined medication and light therapy, laser therapy, light therapy, and depigmentation.
Long term effects: The white patches are usually permanent on your skin, although light therapy can help usually the patches return.
History: It is not known who initially discovered this disease.
- Star Surprise: Vitiligo facts don’t get any more interesting than tying a celebrity to them. In 1986, Michael Jackson indicated that he was diagnosed with the condition
- One size does not fit all: There is not only one kind of vitiligo and your treatment may vary depending on the type and location of your condition