Vitiligo is a skin condition in which pale white patches develop on the skin. It’s caused by the lack of a pigment in the skin called melanin.
The disease can affect any area of your skin, but most commonly It impacts your face, neck and hands, and in various skin folds.
The pale areas of skin are more susceptible to sunburn, therefore, one needs to take care when in the sun and either use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) or cover the areas that are exposed to the sun.
These areas of the skin are most commonly affected by vitiligo symptoms:
- the skin around your mouth and eyes
Common myths about Vitiligo
Common myths about the vitiligo disease are:
- Only dark-skinned people get vitiligo
- People who are impaired with other physical and mental disabilities often get vitiligo
- It is easy to predict who will have vitiligo and how intense the condition
- Vitiligo is related to other skin diseases such as skin cancer, etc
- People with vitiligo are born like this and they have patchy uneven skin because they have mixed-race parents
- Vitiligo worsens by eating certain types of foods
- Vitiligo can be cured by using certain creams and oils into the skin or taking certain supplements
- Vitiligo is contagious
- Vitiligo only affects skin that remains exposed such as faces and hands
Facts about Vitiligo
On the contrary, the facts about vitiligo disease are:
- Vitiligo is neither contagious nor infectious. You cannot get it from someone else.
- Unfortunately, we do not have a way to cure vitiligo. There isn’t even a convenient, easy treatment that slows down the disease process. However, there are therapies that you can try such as UV light therapy, surgery such as use of grafts, steroids, and medications.
- Vitiligo is not genetic in nature. It is not related to ethnicity of your parents.
- Vitiligo affects people of all races. However, it is more noticeable in people with dark skin.
- Vitiligo is not related to other skin conditions such as skin cancer, leprosy etc.
- White patches caused by vitiligo generally occur in areas that are exposed to sun, such as your hands, feet, face, and lips etc. However, the disease can affect other areas too such as armpits, groins, eyes, genitals and rectal locations etc.
- Vitiligo is not caused by foods or your lifestyle
- Most people with vitiligo are normal and the disease has not relation with other disabilities. The disease, however, may be more common in people who have other autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism, Alopecia areata, Adrenocortical insufficiency, etc.
- There is no way to predict the disease. There is no way to tell how much or which portion of your skin will be affected by it. Vitiligo is usually progressive, and white or discolored patches may spread to other areas of the body and become more extensive over time.
If you have not any symptoms that resemble typical vitiligo signs, you should contact a dermatologist. Dermatologists are specialists and trained in skin diseases.