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Frequently asked question about vitiligo

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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
  • This is a rare skin disease that affects up to 2% of the world’s population
  • Vitiligo can be divided into numerous categories depending on the extent and mode of progression

Q: How common is vitiligo?

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

Q: Is vitiligo hereditary?

A: It is suggested that genetics can influence your susceptibility to contracting vitiligo. In a 2016 study from the Clinics in Dermatology, researchers found that there are numerous genetic loci that link genetics to vitiligo. These genes generally manage immune responses and cellular apoptosis, which are two factors that lead to the development of this skin condition.3

Q: How can I 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.4

Q: How does vitiligo start out?

A: Vitiligo usually starts with the development of depigmented patches in specific areas of the body. These patches are observed in body parts that are usually exposed to the sun. The progression of this disease highly varies and depends on the type of vitiligo you have.5

Q: Is vitiligo curable?

A: No, vitiligo is not curable.6 However, there are various treatments and techniques that help in repigmenting the skin and evening out the skin tone of vitiligo patients.7 There are also natural alternatives that can help inhibit the progression of this skin condition.8

Depigmenting is also an option for patients with universal vitiligo or people who have more than 50% 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.9

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.10 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. It is highly recommended to shield your skin from the sun appropriately, and avoid long hours of exposure.11 Instead of using conventional sunscreens, opt for other natural choices that do not contain chemicals that may harm you and the environment.12

Q: How is vitiligo diagnosed?

A: Aside from physical examination, vitiligo is commonly diagnosed with a Wood’s lamp.13 Using a Wood’s lamp or light has been found to show larger areas of either repigmentation or depigmentation before and after treatment, making it a useful test to check the extent and progression of this condition. Your physician can also request a blood test to diagnose possible autoimmune conditions, specifically in the thyroid.14

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 can be divided into several categories depending on the extent and mode of progression. In the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, it is noted that vitiligo can be:15,16

  • Segmental or nonsegmental, depending on the affected area
  • Progressive or stable
  • Localized or generalized

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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Vitiligo Diet

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