There is no "cure" for vitiligo. Sometimes patches go away on their own. But when that doesn't happen, doctors can prescribe treatments that might help even out skin tone. Some of these treatments are things you can try at home; others are done by a doctor.
This type of vitiligo often begins at an early age and progresses for 6 to 12 months and then usually stops. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease. Normally, the immune system works throughout your body to fight off and defend your body from viruses, bacteria, and infection.
Vitiligo — like many skin conditions — can be challenging to live with, mainly because of the way the skin looks. However, people with vitiligo are usually in good health and live normal lives. If it is not associated with symptoms that cause physical discomfort or complications, the condition may be left untreated.
What causes vitiligo? Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease. This type of disease develops when your immune system attacks part of your own body. If you have vitiligo, your immune system attacks cells in your body called melanocytes. These are cells that make pigment.
Signs and symptoms of vitiligo include: Patches of skin or mucous membranes that lose color. These can appear white or lighter than your natural skin tone. Patches of hair on your body turn silver, gray or white.
Pityriasis versicolor can sometimes be confused with vitiligo, as they both cause the skin to become discoloured in patches. But there are ways to tell the difference: vitiligo often develops symmetrically (on both sides of your body at the same time), while pityriasis versicolor may not.
Vitiligo signs include: Patchy loss of skin color, which usually first appears on the hands, face, and areas around body openings and the genitals. Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard.
Stress increases the levels of catecholamines, neuropeptides, and cortisol that are higher in vitiligo patients [37–39] suggesting their role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo.
Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology assessed perceptions of stress from 535 people with vitiligo to understand how stress affects the disease and its progression. According to the study, more than half of those who participated shared that stress triggered their vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a common pigmentary disorder caused by the destruction of functional melanocytes. Vitamin D is an essential hormone synthesized in the skin and is responsible for skin pigmentation. Low levels of vitamin D have been observed in vitiligo patients and in patients with other autoimmune diseases.
Moreover, people with vitiligo lack melanin, which is the body's natural protection from the sun, so sun exposure can be particularly dangerous. That's why it's vital that people with vitiligo use broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 and above.
Vitiligo does not pose a serious threat to one's health, but it can result in physical complications, such as eye issues, hearing problems, and sunburn. People with vitiligo also tend to be more likely to have another autoimmune disease (like thyroid disorders and some types of anemia).
Research suggests that most people who develop vitiligo do so during childhood. As you age, Dr. Mohta says untreated vitiligo often progresses to involve the surrounding skin or create new patches of discoloration.
To the best of our knowledge, vitamin D significantly affects melanocytes and keratinocytes. Studies suggest that vitamin D3 increases tyrosinase activity and melanogenesis in vitro , which may lead to repigmentation in vitiligo skin lesions.
Topical steroids. Topical steroids come as a cream or ointment you apply to your skin. They can sometimes stop the spread of the white patches and may restore some of your original skin colour.
After 6 to 12 months, segmental vitiligo tends to stabilize, meaning that the color loss stops. Once it stops, most people with segmental vitiligo don't develop new patches or spots.
Segmental vitiligo is unique, even beyond the fact that it doesn't cross the midline. It spreads very quickly, faster than the other forms, but only for about 6 months (sometimes up to a year).
Vitiligo is associated with other autoimmune diseases: Addison disease (disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones) Thyroid disease. Pernicious anemia (decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the intestines cannot properly absorb vitamin B12)
About 15 to 25 percent of people with vitiligo are also affected by at least one other autoimmune disorder, particularly autoimmune thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis , pernicious anemia, Addison disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, Crohn disease, or ulcerative colitis.
A non-life-threatening skin disease, vitiligo is a condition where the loss of pigment leads to smooth white patches on the skin. It often appears on the hands, arms, face, and feet. Skin patches may start to appear rapidly at the onset of the disease but stop for long periods of time before they resume.
Skin lesions associated with vitamin B12 deficiency are skin hyperpigmentation, vitiligo, angular stomatitis, and hair changes. Cutaneous lesions that do not respond to conventional therapy can be an indication of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitiligo is epidemiologically associated with increased risk of autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Addison's disease8,15.
A skin biopsy, which means taking a small sample of your skin to be examined under a microscope. Doctors can examine the tissue for the missing melanocytes seen in the depigmented skin of a person with vitiligo.
A vitiligo diagnosis typically involves a review of your symptoms and medical history, a physical examination of the skin, and, potentially, a skin biopsy or blood work.
If you have light spots and patches on your skin, getting an accurate diagnosis is important. White spots and patches develop for many reasons. You might have vitiligo. You could also have another condition like tinea versicolor.