Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which your skin loses melanin, causing white patches to appear that slowly enlarge over time. These symptoms affect men and women alike, and causes may be attributed to emotional stress, illness, or skin trauma such as sunburn. Vitiligo can appear from birth but half of all vitiligo cases develop in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30 years.
It is estimated that around two percent of the World’s population suffers from vitiligo. It affects all races equally but is mistakenly associated with black and dark-skinned people simply because the loss of skin pigmentation is more noticeable.
Any part of the body can be affected but areas exposed to the sun tend to be affected first. Vitiligo is commonly seen on the face around the lips and eyes. It can also develop around hair roots on the scalp and turn patches of hair white or grey.
Vitiligo is not contagious and does not have to hold you back in life: even some high-profile celebrities and fashion models have come to embrace their condition as a part of their identity.
Melanin is a natural substance produced to protect your skin from exposure to the sun, so it is important to apply sunscreen or cover areas that are affected by the depigmentation of your skin.
Repigmentation is very slow and treatments may include topical corticosteroids in the form of a cream applied to affected areas, vitamins, narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy, and oral steroids.
In addition, self-tanning lotions may help conceal imperfections by adding color to depigmented areas. Concealing cosmetics and makeup can also be an effective way to restore more balanced skin color.
Your Trillium Creek Dermatology skin experts can provide treatments to slow the progression of the disease as well as minimize the visible effects.