Frequently Asked Questions About Vitiligo

Frequently Asked Questions About Vitiligo

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  • Vitiligo is not a transmittable disease and cannot be passed from person to person. There are various triggers for this skin condition, which include stress, genetic predisposition, extensive exposure to sunlight and chemical exposure
  • Studies suggest that heredity can influence the susceptibility of an individual to contracting vitiligo, with the skin condition commonly occurring in more than one case in a family
  • Vitiligo is a rare skin disease that affects about 1 percent of the world’s population

Q: How common is vitiligo?

A: Vitiligo is a rare skin disease that affects about 1 percent of the world's population. In the U.S., there are between 2 million and 5 million people who are affected by this condition.1

Q: Is vitiligo hereditary?

A: Studies suggest that heredity can influence the susceptibility of an individual to contracting vitiligo, with the skin condition commonly occurring in more than one case in a family.2 But although the genetic predisposition of a person to vitiligo obviously affects its development, there are also various external factors that can lead to this skin condition.

Q: How can I get vitiligo/how does a person get vitiligo?

A: Vitiligo is not a transmittable disease and cannot be passed from person to person. There are various triggers for this skin condition, which include stress, genetic predisposition, extensive exposure to sunlight and chemical exposure. It can also be caused by an autoimmune response wherein white blood cells unknowingly attack healthy skin cells.3

Q: How does vitiligo start out?

A: Vitiligo usually starts with the development of small lesions or depigmented patches in specific areas of the body. These patches are usually observed in areas that are exposed to the sun. The progression of this disease highly varies and depends on the type of vitiligo you have.4

Q: Is vitiligo curable?

A: No, vitiligo is not curable. However, there are various treatments and techniques that help in re-pigmenting the skin and evening out the skin tone of vitiligo patients. There are also natural alternatives that can help inhibit the progression of this skin condition.

Depigmenting is also an option for patients with universal vitiligo or people who have more than 50 percent of their body covered with depigmented skin. This normally entails the removal of the remaining melanocytes in the skin to achieve an even skin color.5

Q: Is itching a symptom of vitiligo?

A: In rare cases, vitiligo patches can itch because of the increased sensitivity. Itching can also be felt in regions where the depigmentation is starting.6 But to ensure an accurate diagnosis, seek a physician's advice to make sure that you are not affected by another skin condition.

Q: How do I take care of skin with vitiligo?

A: Because of the destruction of the melanocytes on the skin and the absence of melanin, the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight and skin products. It is highly recommended that you use materials and supplies to help shield your skin from the sun.7 While the easiest product you can get your hands on would be sunscreen, there are other natural choices that do not contain chemicals that may harm you and the environment.

Q: How is vitiligo diagnosed?

A: Aside from physical examination, vitiligo is commonly diagnosed with a Wood's lamp. This is usually done to locate the vitiligo patches in light skinned people. With vitiligo patients, hypopigmented regions of the skin usually appear yellow-green or blue under the Wood's lamp. A blood test can also be ordered by a physician to check for the imbalances that usually appear with vitiligo.8

Because of the broad selection of conditions that are associated with hypopigmentation, a thorough check is necessary to narrow down your symptoms to a specific diagnosis.

Q: What are the types of vitiligo?

A: Vitiligo is usually divided into two categories: localized and generalized. Localized vitiligo refers to the depigmentation that is exclusive to a specific part of the body, while generalized vitiligo has the ability to spread and affect multiple skin regions.9

MORE ABOUT VITILIGO

Vitiligo: an Introduction

What Is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo Symptoms

Vitiligo Causes

Types of Vitiligo

Vitiligo Treatment

Vitiligo Prevention

Vitiligo Diet

Vitiligo FAQ

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