Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition, in this skin condition the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), which are responsible for determining the color of the skin, hair, and eyes, gradually disappear from the skin. Leukoderma, which causes milky-white areas of skin, can be extremely limiting from a cosmetic standpoint, especially in people with a dark complexion.
Most common causes of vitiligo
When immune cells kill pigment-producing cells, vitiligo develops (melanocytes). This damage is thought to be caused by an autoimmune condition. When healthy body tissue is attacked and destroyed by the immune system instead of the body's normal function of protecting it from infection, this condition is known as an autoimmune disorder, and at any age may experience vitiligo.
The autoimmune illnesses considered as reasons for vitiligo are:
It has been seen that some individuals with Addison's disease may also develop Vitiligo.
The thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining bodily functions and regulation. When the thyroid gland is underactive, it is known as hypothyroidism. And when the thyroid is overactive it is known as hyperthyroidism. Research conducted shows that 25% of people with vitiligo also had an underactive thyroid gland.
As per the studies, Individuals having a Vitiligo had a deficiency of hemoglobin and vitamin B12 in their bodies.
There are shared genetic factors suspected in diabetes and Vitiligo. Both type 1 diabetes and vitiligo are autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks the body's cells. Research suggests a potential link between insulin and melanocyte function, which could contribute to the development of vitiligo. Individuals with type 1 diabetes may have a higher prevalence of vitiligo.
It is believed that vitiligo can be hereditary and therefore run in families. In fact many people who suffer from Vitiligo are concerned about passing it down to their offspring.
Vitiligo in men, women & children
Men and women are equally affected by vitiligo, and children usually develop it. When both parents have Vitiligo, the likelihood of it occurring in a child is greater. The type of vitiligo a person has will frequently determine the vitiligo's causes.
Chemical discharge from cutaneous nerve terminals is one of the most common vitiligo causes. These neurochemicals are thought to be harmful to the skin's melanin, which causes decreased pigmentation.
What causes Vitiligo, and why?
The auto-immune condition known as vitiligo results in white patches of skin on various parts of the body and is brought on by the loss of pigment. Skin pigment known as melanin, which is created by melanocytes, gives the skin its natural color. Vitiligo is brought on by melanocyte dysfunction, which causes the loss of melanin.
It is unknown what causes melanocytes to be destroyed. However, experts think that the following things work together to cause vitiligo
- Autoimmune Disease
- Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
- Burns and Injuries and sometimes skin grafts
Types of Vitiligo
There are two main forms of vitiligo:
- Non-segmental vitiligo: It impacts the mouth, knees, feet, arms, and backs of hands.
- Segmental vitiligo: It spreads more quickly but is more stable than non-segmental vitiligo. Typically, it affects parts of the skin that are close to nerves.
The following subtypes are used by doctors to classify the extent of pigment loss in the body:
- Localized: On the body, vitiligo only results in one or a few locations.
- Generalized: The body's various regions all exhibit color-loss patches.
- Universal: The skin's original color has mostly faded. It is a quite rare subtype
B.H.M.S (Maharashtra University of Health Sciences)
FCHD (Fellowship in Homeopathic Dermatologist - Mumbai)
Why Does Vitiligo Occur? What are the common Leucoderma reasons?
Leucoderma and vitiligo are depigmentary diseases in which the skin's melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin, are damaged or cease to function. As a result, uneven, white colour patches on the skin develop in various body areas. Individuals with dark skin types (such as Indians or Asians) or darker skin tones are particularly vulnerable to its more pronounced and disfiguring effects, as the white spots on the skin are more easily visible.
Vitiligo can have autoimmune, neurological, genetic, oxidative stress, or viral causes, yet the exact cause is still unknown.
Vitiligo Is Caused By Sun Damage?
Although there isn't a direct link, some people frequently think that sun damage may be the root of the problem. Sun exposure should be avoided by those who have the condition since it can lead to sunburn but is not a mitigating factor.
Can Certain Foods Induce Vitiligo?
A common misconception is that consuming milk just after eating fish can give you vitiligo. Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition that is not directly related to food and is not brought on by consuming the wrong foods together. Vitiligo causes and prevention are quite individual and hence it is important to consult our doctors who can help you identify your specific triggers, and treatment options without any side effects while aiming to find a cure for vitiligo.
Which areas of the body does Vitiligo affect?
Vitiligo can affect any part of the skin causing the affected skin to turn white. It can also affect mucous membranes. Vitiligo can show up on any area of the body like the face, arms, hands, and feet. It is most concerning for individuals when it shows up at the exposed parts of the body such as the face and hands which are visible to others. Better results of treatment are usually seen on fleshy parts such as thighs, forearms, stomach, cheeks than bony parts such as fingers, elbows, and knees. Vitiligo is often confused with pityriasis alba which is a form of dermatitis.
A study conducted shows that hairy parts of the body respond well to the treatment than non-hairy parts of the body. This is believed because the hair bulb is packed with melanocytes which are believed to travel and replace the non-functional melanocytes in the skin.