Vitiligo is a skin disease that occurs as a result of the skin losing its color. Areas larger than 5 mm that appear on a person’s skin are called vitiligo. In fact, if you have vitiligo on a hairy part of your body, the hair in that area may turn white.
How Does Vitiligo Develop?
Stains due to vitiligo form gradually over a few months and spread throughout the body. Vitiligo usually occurs in the hands, arms, feet and face. But it can develop anywhere on the body, including the mucous membranes, inner ears, and eyes.
Sometimes very large spots enlarge and continue to spread. However, these spots usually stay in the same place for many years. Smaller spots may vary depending on pigment changes in certain areas of the skin. Vitiligo discomfort can vary depending on the amount of skin affected. While some people have very little depigmentation, others may experience extensive skin discoloration.
What Causes Vitiligo?
Although the causes of vitiligo cannot be determined exactly, the following conditions are among the possible causes of vitiligo:
• Autoimmune Disorder: The affected person’s immune system may develop antibodies that destroy melanocytes.
• Genetic Factors: Some factors that cause vitiligo may be inherited. According to studies, about 30 percent of vitiligo cases are due to genetic causes.
• Neurogenic Factors: For melanocytes, some substances that can cause toxic effects may be released at the ends of the nerves in the skin.
Vitiligo can also develop due to some events such as physical or emotional stress. The state of depression experienced by the person is among the important factors that trigger this disorder.
On the other hand, some of the above causes can lead to vitiligo at the same time. For this reason, it is quite difficult to diagnose the disease and to determine the cause in some cases.
How is Vitiligo Treated?
There is no definitive treatment for vitiligo yet. The medical treatment applied for this ailment is to create a uniform skin tone by restoring the skin color with the repigmentation method or by removing the remaining color with the depigmentation method. Common treatments for vitiligo include camouflage, repigmentation and light treatments, as well as surgery.
The methods applied for the treatment of vitiligo generally do not carry much risk. However, effective results can be obtained with the treatment methods applied.