What exactly is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo (pronounced vit-il-EYE-go) is a skin condition in which the skin loses its colour. If you have vitiligo in a hairy area of your body, your hair may turn white as well. The condition occurs when the body’s immune system destroys melanocytes (skin cells that produce melanin, the chemical that gives skin its colour or pigmentation).

What are the various types of vitiligo?

1. Generalized: When macules occur in various places on the body, this is the most prevalent form.

2. Segmental: This is limited to one side of the body or one part of the body, such as the hands or the face

3. Mucosal: This affects the mouth and/or genital mucous membranes

4. Focal: This is an unusual type in which the macules are concentrated in a limited area and do not spread in a familiar sequence over the course of one to two years.

5. Trichome: This implies that there is a white or colourless centre, followed by a lighter pigmented area, and finally a normal-colored area.

6. Universal: Another rare form of vitiligo, in which more than 80% of the body’s skin is devoid of pigment.

Causes and risk factors of Vitiligo

1. Autoimmune disorder: The immune system of the sick person may produce antibodies that damage melanocytes.

2. Genetic factors: The risk factors for vitiligo can be passed down through generations. Vitiligo runs in families in about 30% of instances.

3. Neurogenic factors: A chemical harmful to melanocytes may be produced at nerve terminals in the skin

4. Self-destruction: Melanocytes suffer from a defect that leads them to self-destruct.

Certain circumstances, including as physical or emotional stress, might also cause vitiligo. Because none of the answers seem to fully account for the illness, it’s possible that vitiligo is caused by a combination of these factors.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of vitiligo:

Skin colour fades in patches. The eyes, as well as the mucous membranes of your mouth and nose, can be affected. Hair on your head or face begins to grey or whiten prematurely.

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