“Vitiligo treatment” is a phrase that conjures up a range of feelings from scepticism and doubt, to eagerness and hope, and then excitement and exhilaration. Vitiligo sufferers will all recognize these emotions.
Vitiligo is a cosmetically disfiguring disease, in which smooth white patches appear on the skin, most commonly around the eyes, mouth, elbows, wrists, hands and ankles. The disease can sometimes involve large areas when the patches grow and merge, but it is rare for people to lose all skin pigment. Vitiligo can affect anyone, but it is more noticeable in people with darker skin. About half of people with Vitiligo develop it before age 20.
Vitiligo occurs when melanocytes (skin cells that produce melanin, the chemical that gives skin its colour) are destroyed by the body’s immune system. Researchers believe Vitiligo to be an autoimmune disease. The determining factors for whether a person develops Vitiligo is a combination of genetic and other factors. People who have Vitiligo may also have other immune disorders like psoriasis, alopecia areata, and thyroid disease. Sometimes people can develop Vitiligo after a physical injury or psychological distress. Physical or mental trauma is a common trigger for Vitiligo.
Understanding and Identifying Vitiligo:
- Generalized Vitiligo:
Generalised Vitiligo is the most common type, affecting approximately 98% of people diagnosed with this disease. The symptoms present as white lesions on both sides of the body in a symmetric pattern. It often starts on the hands, feet or around the eyes. It is sometimes active and progressive, and at other times more stable. This type of Vitiligo responds to treatment quickly – especially when started early, ideally within a 12-month period.
- Segmental Vitiligo:
The onset of Segmental Vitiligo is usually at an early age, even pre-teens. It appears on one side of the body, rarely crossing the midline, appearing in an isolated segment on limbs, face, or torso. It usually spreads rapidly for about 6-10 months, and then the spread of Vitiligo slows down.
- Focal Vitiligo:
This type of Vitiligo is characterised by depigmented patches appearing in one small area of the body and is extremely rare.
- Mucosal Vitiligo:
This type of Vitiligo affects the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and/or genitals.
- Trichome and Confetti Vitiligo:
These two variants of Vitiligo should be treated as soon as a definitive diagnosis is made. In Trichome Vitiligo, there is an area of unaffected skin, an area of the intermediately affected skin, showing lighter (hypopigmented) patches), and patches of completely depigmented skin. This triple-zoned appearance results in areas of three colours. Confetti Vitiligo shows lesions that appear confetti-like and appear close to the edges of existing Vitiligo patches. These small lesions will cluster into larger patches if not treated early.
- Universal Vitiligo:
The discolouration affects nearly all skin surfaces irrespective of where the lesions appear on the body. Universal Vitiligo is an uncommon type of Vitiligo in which more than 80% of the skin is covered in smooth, white, milky patches. This type is characterised by the wide distribution of the Vitiligo patches throughout the body, with only isolated portions of remaining normal skin pigmentation. Since this kind of vitiligo represents the high end of the spectrum in General vitiligo. This is represented by a high prevalence of comorbidity.
Causes of Vitiligo:
Vitiligo is a disorder that causes your skin to lose pigment in patches. Researchers believe that the cause is most likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The effect is the destruction of melanocytes (the cells responsible for the skin’s colour).
Genetics – Researchers have estimated that 20% of those diagnosed with Vitiligo have a close relative with Vitiligo.
Autoimmune dysfunction – Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune depigmenting skin disorder characterised by patches of the skin with no functional melanocytes.
Environmental factors – Emotional distress, sunburn or other physical skin damage or chemical exposure, such as e.g., hair dye, resulting in splotchy areas of white skin.
Stop the Spread of Vitiligo:
Research is limited on whether Vitiligo can be prevented and at present, there is no cure. However, Vitiligo spots and patches can be successfully Treated.
Fortunately, there are ways to restore skin pigment to the Vitiligo lesions and maintain normal skin colour. This is a multi-faceted approach, and the spin-offs are a healthier body and a chance to regulate your immune system functions.
The key to these strategies is an early diagnosis from a medical practitioner. You want to start your treatment campaign as early as possible. Once you know what you are dealing with, a plan of action can be implemented. This includes creams and supplements that have been proven to work, a healthy lifestyle which includes diet and exercise, skin protection and a supportive emotional environment.
- Vitiligo diagnosis:
Your medical practitioner will likely need your medical history as well as that of your immediate family. Vitiligo tends to be more common in people who have a family history of the disease or who have certain autoimmune conditions like thyroid disorders, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Addison’s disease. Physical tests may include blood checks and/or a skin biopsy in which a small sample of the affected skin is used to be examined under a microscope.
Vitilox® Vitiligo Pigmentation Cream has been formulated to re-pigment the Vitiligo-affected areas of your skin. This cream penetrates deep into the skin’s cells, stimulating the melanocytes into releasing melanin and remains active for up to 24 hours after application.
Vitilox® T-Cell-V capsules contain vital ingredients that promote melanin production. The vitamins and minerals in these vegan capsules have been carefully selected to help regulate the immune responses in the alteration of the T cells or T lymphocytes of the blood. T cells (a type of white blood cell) play a central role in the adaptive immune response in people suffering from Vitiligo.
Ingredients in Vitilox® T-Cell-V capsules include several of the B-type vitamins, zinc, folic acid, biotin, and selenium. These capsules are an immune therapy product and have the required ingredients to stop the progression of Vitiligo.
- A healthy lifestyle:
Because Vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, it may be helpful to eat nutrient-dense foods that are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Similarly, research suggests that limiting your intake of high-fat foods, foods that can promote inflammation, and foods that contain gluten may help to prevent depigmentation.
- Protect your skin:
Skin affected by Vitiligo is extremely susceptible to sun damage because the lesions lack the natural protection that melanin provides to the unaffected parts. Areas most at risk are those where the skin is thinner such as the eyelids, nose, neck, décolleté and the dorsal surfaces of the hands. Always use a good sunscreen! In addition to protecting your skin from severe sunburn, sunscreen will help keep areas not affected by Vitiligo less dark, helping to reduce the contrast between very dark (or suntanned) areas and Vitiligo lesions.
Conditions that resemble Vitiligo:
Thermal burns, inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis, or bacterial infections like leprosy may cause a loss of skin colour, which can be mistaken for Vitiligo. Certain fungal infections can develop due to oily skin or poor hygiene, causing white patches with a scaly surface.
Albinism is a genetic disorder that develops because the body does not produce enough melanin. This gives skin and hair a light or completely white appearance.
Living with Vitiligo can leave people feeling embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance. This can lead to low self-esteem and even depression. The visual effects of Vitiligo often generate psychological distress and disruption of social relationships, creating a vicious Stress-Vitiligo cycle. What must be noted is that these symptoms can worsen the effect of Vitiligo on an individual and tend to slow down the treatment process as well. The discipline of Yoga can bring about a change in daily life if practised regularly. Joining a Vitiligo support group can also be of benefit. Remember, you are not alone!
Using cover creams while undergoing Vitiligo treatment can help, especially if the patches are on the face. Vitilox® Cover Cream & Setting Powder kit is a revolutionary new Vitiligo face and body waterproof camouflage, that can conceal your white spots and patches effectively. There are several shades, so an effective cover can be achieved.
Vitilox® Natural Soap has been formulated for sensitive skin for sufferers of Vitiligo, psoriasis, eczema, and skin bacterial conditions. This can also be used as a shampoo. This natural product has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which heal skin irritations fast.
The Psychology of Hope:
People who are affected by Vitiligo need to observe their thought processes during this stressful time. Try not to flounder in catastrophic feelings by formulating a clear Vitiligo treatment plan. This will effectively manage your anxiety and help you to feel more in control of your condition.
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Published by Vitiligo Treatment