Vitiligo (pronounced as vit-ill-eye-go) is a skin condition that occurs when skin cells stop producing melanin, the pigment which determines the color of the skin, eyes and hair. When this happens, white spots start to occur in the different parts of the body.
Sometimes, hairs that grow on the affected area turn white too. Vitiligo or Leukoderma is a condition that affects all races and usually starts appearing before a person turns 20 or after he turned 40 and may last for decades. It is more noticeable in people with dark skin tone.
Although this condition has been identified a long time ago, experts are still conducting an intensive study about it since particular causes and cures are still unidentified.
According to medical experts, this skin disorder may potentially be triggered by factors including:
• Sun Exposure and
Among the five, scientists believed that people with a family history of Vitiligo or other related autoimmune diseases are more susceptible to acquiring this condition since there is an increasing report on people suffering from Vitiligo that was caused by the “inherited vitiligo genes”.
This set of three genes, when inherited, predisposes a person to destruction of their melanocytes which results to depigmentation of the skin. This condition is a type of autoimmune disease – which means that the immune system (that is designed to protect the human body) destroys the body’s own tissues and cells.
This further means that a person suffering from this condition developed an imbalance that causes his immune system to attack the pigment-producing cells of his own skin. Even though Leukoderma has no particular cure, medical professionals have developed some therapies that can give moderately positive results.
If ever you suspect you have this disorder, it is always recommended that you consult a doctor first before trying to get cures for yourself. Chances are, you might have gotten this disease through an unknown health condition that you may have. Thus, it is necessary to have a doctor who can give you an accurate diagnosis and a helpful medical advice.
To diagnose if a person has Vitiligo, the doctor may conduct several physical examinations and a series of laboratory tests. When you’re diagnosed, you will be advised to undergo some therapy.
Treatments and therapies are designed to improve a person’s appearance – that is, to repigment the skin and hopefully lessen (if not totally cure) the appearance of white patches. This process may take 6 to 18 months; depending on the severity of the condition, the number of white patches, their location and how rampant they are.
Other options to cure Vitiligo are medication, surgery, adjunctive therapies, and some alternative medicine. The condition itself may not be completely treated but that does not mean that you can’t do anything to take control of it.
You can help control your condition by modifying some factors that can trigger this disease. For example, you can switch on a favorable and healthy diet. For years, as much as experts have been trying to find out the definitive causes and cures for this illness, interest on foods and nutrients that may allegedly cause and help cure this condition have also developed. In the recent years, it has been discovered that certain chemicals present in food can trigger the occurrence of Vitiligo.
For one, Gluten (which is a common compound present in a variety of foods) was found out to cause various skin diseases including Vitiligo. Thus, avoiding foods that contain gluten can potentially help cure this skin disease.
In fact, doctors from Spain have reported a case of repigmentation of Vitiligo lesions on a girl with celiac disease after instigating a gluten-free diet. Yes, you can’t completely treat Leukoderma, but there are a lot of ways you can do to control this condition. If you control your Vitiligo now, chances are that you may not have to deal with other white spots later on in your life.