Information on Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a medical condition which is usually chronic and involves the development of white patches of the skin because the affected areas where the patches appear have no melanin.
Melanin is a substance which gets released by certain types of skin cells referred to as melanocytes. The melanin gives the color to the skin and it is also important for the protection of skin from the damage of sunlight.
This condition may affect virtually any part of the human body but it mostly affects the face, the hands and the neck because these parts of the body are usually the ones which are exposed to sunlight the most.
This medical condition may affect different people in a different manner but it is more visible in those who have a darker skin. The patches that are characteristic for this condition are permanent in most cases. It affects both men and women. Vitiligo is not an infectious disease and it is unknown what causes it in the first place.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
The main and the most common symptom of vitiligo is an occurrence of white, flat patches on the skin. The patches are usually connected to the excessive exposure to sunlight.
The patches are not itchy in most cases. Vitiligo can be present on any part of the human body but it commonly affects the hands, the neck, the face and sometimes even genitals. Sometimes it may occur on two sides of the body in a symmetrical manner. This type of vitiligo is referred to as the bilateral vitiligo.
It usually affects the back of the hands, the feet, the arms, the elbows, the knees, and the eyes. Vitiligo can also affect the scalp and in that case it is usually accompanied by grey or white hair at the area.
Vitiligo sometimes also triggers rash after exposure to sunlight. Unilateral vitiligo involves the white patches on a single area of the human body. Rare cases include the complete vitiligo which affects the entire human body.
It cannot be predicted if the vitiligo will spread to unaffected areas and how fast that may happen. Unilateral vitiligo usually involves a faster progress. The treatment process is not successful in all cases, which all depends on the individual cases of different patients.
Those who have vitiligo must be really careful when it comes to sun protection. It may also affect one’s self esteem because of the visual appearance of the affected areas of the skin. It can also be associated with certain autoimmune medical conditions and certain types of eye complications.