Vitiligo (pronounced "vit-ill-eye-go" / also called "leukoderma") is a common, genetic, autoimmune skin disease in which there is loss of pigment from areas of the skin resulting in irregular white spots or patches. The skin has normal texture. Vitiligo may appear at any age. Although it is a progressive condition, many people experience years or decades without developing new spots. Vitiligo is a chronic disorder that causes de pigmentation of patches of skin. It occurs when melanocytes (Which produce pigment melanin), the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. Vitiligo affects the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes by destroying cells that produce the body's pigment. The most obvious results of this condition are white splotches in the areas where the skin isn't producing enough pigment. This is not a serious condition, but research physicians are still investigating methods for correct diagnosis, treatments, co-existent diseases, and psychological side effects. It may appear in various patterns of distribution. This disease has been observed for thousands of years, all across the globe. It is a common abnormality and there is no significant difference in it incidence as regards gender, race or age of the individual. Approximately 2 out of every 100 people suffers from Vitiligo. Vitiligo may also be hereditary, that is, it can run in families. Children whose parents have the disorder are more likely to develop vitiligo. However, most children will not get vitiligo even if a parent has it, and most people with vitiligo do not have a family history of the disorder.
What is Pigment Melanin?
Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color. Vitiligo is caused by a loss of pigment in the skin, due to destruction of pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes. Although vitiligo affects all races equally, it is more noticeable in dark-skinned people. Our hair, eyes, and skin are given color by a pigment called melanin. This material is constantly being broken down and replaced, so it must be replenished by cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes manufacture and distribute the correct amount of melanin, but for people with vitiligo, this process gets disrupted. Vitiligo can cause cosmetic problems.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitiligo?
People who develop vitiligo usually first notice white patches (de pigmentation) on their skin. These patches are more common in sun-exposed areas, including the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. Other common areas for white patches to appear are the armpits and groin and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, and genitals.
What Are The Type Of Vitiligo?
Vitiligo generally appears in one of three patterns. In one pattern (focal pattern), the de pigmentation is limited to one or only a few areas. Some people develop de pigmented patches on only one side of their bodies (segmental pattern). But for most people who have vitiligo, de pigmentation occurs on different parts of the body (generalized pattern). In addition to white patches on the skin, people with vitiligo may have premature graying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard. People with dark skin may notice a loss of color inside their mouths.
Is Vitiligo Contagious?
Some people ask about vitiligo is contagious or not, be aware that Vitiligo is not contagious in any way. The precise cause of Vitiligo is not well-understood, though it seems to be the result of a combination of genetic, immunologic, biochemical and neurogenic factors. It is often, though not always, seen in families. Though the condition has no other known effects on the body, the psychological and social effects are well documented. Vitiligo is not contagious.
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