How is Vitiligo?


Question by: Dr. Romeo Barone | Last updated: January 10, 2022

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Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by the appearance of characteristic white spots due to damage to the cells responsible for the formation of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of our skin.

How does vitiligo initially manifest?

Vitiligo manifests itself with the appearance of milky white spots (achromic), that is, devoid of pigment on the skin surface. The shape and size of the spots is variable and the surface is normal, with no thinning (atrophy) or thickening (hyperkeratosis).

How do you get vitiligo?

Vitiligo is caused by a lack of a pigment, melanin, which gives the skin its natural color and is produced by cells called melanocytes. Lack of melanin causes white (depigmented) patches on the skin.

What to do to stop vitiligo?

Is it possible to block vitiligo? Possible treatments and therapies

  1. Phototherapy based on narrow band UVB radiation, emitted by a specific vitiligo lamp;
  2. Melanocyte transplant, to re-pigment the affected areas;
  3. Depigmenting treatments, to lighten the skin not affected by the disease;

Where does Vitiligo affect?

Where does vitiligo appear

Vitiligo can affect all skin regions, although it usually prefers certain areas such as: neck, armpits, genitals (groin and penis in particular), elbows, hands, knees and feet. According to a study, people with dark skin types are more easily affected by vitiligo.

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Who Affects Vitiligo?

It affects both men and women, with a peak incidence between 10 and 20 years; in children the course can be very rapid. Vitiligo is not a contagious disease. The highest risk subjects are those suffering from diabetes, hypo and hyperthyroidism, alopecia areata and pernicious anemia.

How does Vitiligo evolve?

Segmental vitiligo has a very early onset, manifesting mainly in infants; in a short period of about two years, the achromic spots progress and then stabilize.

When does vitiligo appear?

The loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose. Change or color of the inner layer of the eyeball. Vitiligo can start at any age, but it often appears before the age of 20.

How to get rid of white spots on the skin?

Unfortunately, there is no treatment aimed at eliminating the white spots on the skin caused by this disorder, but you can only act preventively by trying to limit exposure to the sun’s rays and using sun creams with a protective factor greater than 50.

When can vitiligo appear?

It is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by the appearance of spots that are lighter than the skin tone. The frequency is 1-2% and is familiar in 1/3 of cases. It often occurs before pubertal age and in any case by the age of 20.

Can anyone with vitiligo sunbathe?

Absolutely not! It is possible to expose yourself to the sun but with the necessary precautions and by adopting an adequate and specific photoprotection for skin with vitiligo. Not only. Giving up the sun altogether could even be counterproductive.

How does the lack of melanin manifest itself?

The lack of melanin manifests itself with pigmentation changes, such as: Vitiligo. It generally affects the face, elbows, knees and genitals. It shows white spots with clear edges and tends to evolve both with the extension of existing spots and with the appearance of new ones.

Why do i have white spots on my skin?

The white spots are the consequence of an alteration in the color of the skin (local hypopigmentation), caused by the lack of production of melanin (pigment that defines the color of the skin) by the melanocytes, which, while remaining alive, stop synthesizing melanin.

How to reactivate melanocytes?

Today it is possible to resort to micro-phototherapy that uses an innovative equipment, able to emit a filtered cold light beam, applied exclusively on the areas to be treated, able to reactivate the melanocytes and the production of melanin inside the lesions.

How to remove old age skin spots?

For smaller and superficial age spots, topical treatments based on ointments with urea or salicylic acid may be sufficient to help renew the skin with a light exfoliation that favors the removal of dead cells.

How to increase the production of melanin?

How to increase melanin

It is good to prefer, for example, the consumption of fruit and vegetables (5 servings a day), especially yellow-orange, red and green leafy (carrots, apricots, tomatoes, melons, peppers, cabbage, etc.), dried fruit and vegetable oils (like olive oil).

How can Vitiligo be treated?

Local therapy of vitiligo uses the application of cortisone-based creams (topical corticosteroids) to the patches for 1-2 times a day for a variable period of 2-4 months or calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus and pimecrolimus).

What is Vitiligo and how is it treated?

Vitiligo is an acquired skin disease linked to a skin pigmentation disorder, relatively common in the general population. It can occur at any age from infancy to adulthood, with a peak in incidence between the second and third decade of life (1).

What is the name of the white spots on the skin?

White patches on the skin: Vitiligo, pityriasis alba or versicolor.

What are the small skin spots called?

They are also called sunspots or solar freckles and in the past they were called liver spots because it was mistakenly believed that their origin was linked to liver problems. They occur by increasing the number of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the skin’s natural pigment.

How is pityriasis versicolor treated?

Ketoconazole is the most commonly used topical treatment to treat pityriasis versicolor. Oral drugs are used as a second-line treatment so in the event that topical therapy has not been effective. They can also be used in widespread, severe, and recurring cases.

How to cover vitiligo spots on the face?

Ask for a specific covering foundation for skin with vitiligo and test the color on the inside of the wrist. It must be as close as possible to the color of your skin in order not to “stain”. In summer it would be better to ask for the same product with UV filters and water resistant.

Can anyone with vitiligo get tattoos?

Vitiligo is a condition where the skin loses pigmentation, causing white patches. Tattoos have been an integral cultural part of personal expression for centuries. The answer to the question is yes, you can get a tattoo even if you have Vitiligo.

What to eat for those with vitiligo?

Melon, grapes and chickpeas seem to counteract the proliferation of the disease. But also green tea and olive oil seem to have beneficial effects on the skin, due to their antioxidant power. It is the vegan diet that appears to bring the greatest benefits. Better to avoid eating mangoes and citrus fruits.

How many people in the world have Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a dermatological disease involving skin pigmentation, caused by the lack of melanin that affects approximately 100 million people worldwide, with cases predominating among women.


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