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Vitiligo prevention: Can you avoid this skin condition?

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  • It is believed that vitiligo patches are often found in sun-exposed skin, so avoiding prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight, as well as employing measures to avoid sun damage, may help prevent vitiligo
  • For vitiligo patients, the prevention of vitiligo progression is also important. Here are some of the tips that physicians and health professionals have recommended

While there have been numerous papers and studies focusing on vitiligo, there is still no clear-cut solution to how you can decrease your risk of contracting it, especially if you are predisposed to this health problem.

How to prevent vitiligo

One of the most common misconceptions about vitiligo is that it is a transmittable disease. This mistake arises from the idea that vitiligo is the same as leprosy or other transmittable diseases. But even if you maintain your distance from vitiligo patients, this will not guarantee protection against this disease, as it is not a contagious disease.1

It is believed that vitiligo patches are often found in sun-exposed skin, so avoiding prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight, as well as employing measures to avoid sun damage, may help prevent vitiligo.2 Other recommendations for vitiligo prevention include the following:

  • Avoid injuring your skin — Vitiligo has been observed in areas of incisions, trauma and lacerations that are otherwise unaffected by this skin condition. It may also be seen in areas that are subjected to mild friction on a daily basis.3 Avoiding skin injury may lower your risk of developing vitiligo by decreasing the possibility of melanocyte death.4
  • Improve nutrition and diet — Diet can be an important factor in the development of vitiligo, so you should always monitor it. Vitiligo patients have been observed to have multiple deficiencies in essential nutrients, some of which play an important role in the production of melanin in the skin. These include vitamins D, B12 and folate.5 A well-balanced diet not only ensures that the person has a lower risk of contracting vitiligo, but it may also help fight various diseases.6
  • Steer clear of chemical insecticides and pesticides Numerous harmful chemicals in pesticides and insecticides were found to cause oxidative stress, which may give rise to numerous problems.7 Oxidative stress is one of the proposed causes of vitiligo as it may cause the autoimmune response that’s responsible for the death of melanocytes.8

Keeping vitiligo from spreading: Prevention tips to remember

For vitiligo patients, preventing vitiligo from progressing is also important. Some of the tips that physicians and health professionals have recommended include:

  • Avoiding stressful situations — Stress, either emotional or physical, has been identified as one of the possible triggers for the faster progression of this disease.9 This is often attributed to the direct impact of stress on the immune system, which may trigger an autoimmune response.10 By avoiding events or instances that may cause stress, you can minimize or slow down the spread of your vitiligo patches.11
  • Wearing sun-safe clothing — Mechanical damage, such as sunburn, may contribute to the progression of vitiligo.12 If you have macules on frequently sun-exposed skin, it would be best to cover them up with sun-safe clothes or use natural skin protection.13

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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