Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by white patches of various shapes and sizes. It is caused by the eyelash packaging eyelashes of certain areas of the skin to produce melanin, a pigment responsible for natural skin color.
“An estimated 1 to 2 million Americans have vitiligo. It affects both sexes and all races, but is often more noticeable and more disfiguring in people with darker skin. Vitiligo usually starts as small areas of pigment loss that spread and become larger with time. These changes in your skin can result in stress and worries about your appearance,” said the Mayo Clinic.
Why this happens is still a mystery although the condition appears to be inherited. The milky white patches that accompany the disease may be limited to certain areas of the body, affect only one side of the body or be widespread. Other less common signs include premature graying or whitening of the hair on the scalp, eyebrows or eyelash packaging eyelashes, and loss of color in the tissues inside your mouth.
“Tiiet any part of your body may be affected by vitiligo, depigmentation usually develops first on sun-exposed areas of your skin, such as your hands, feet, arms, face and lips. Although it can start at any age, vitiligo often first appears between the ages of 20 and 30,” explained the Mayo Clinic.
The disease has been associated with thyroid disorders, pernicious anemia (which follows lack of hydrochloric acid in stomach juices and nervous conditions), Addison’s disease (a disorder of the adrenal glands), diabetes, hearing defects, alopecia areata (hair loss) and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
The condition may also follow physical or psychological stress, severe sunburn, surgery, pregnancy or a chemical reaction.
“Doctors and scientists have theories as to what causes vitiligo. It may be due to an immune system disorder. Heredity may be a factor because there’s an increased incidence of vitiligo in some families. Some people have reported a single event, such as sunburn or emotional distress that triggered the condition. However, none of these theories has been proved as a definite cause of vitiligo,” the Mayo Clinic said.
Despite its appearance, vitiligo is harmless. If the disease is limited to certain parts of the body, it can be covered with the help of cosmetics. To protect your skin from the sun, use a good sunscreen.
“Depending on the number, size and location of the white patches, you may decide to seek medical treatment. Medical treatments for vitiligo aim to even out skin tone, either by restoring color (pigment) or destroying the remaining color. Depending on the type of therapy, treatment for vitiligo may take from six to 18 months. Medical treatment choices are based on the number of white patches you have and how widespread they are. Each person responds differently to treatment, and a particular therapy may not work for you,” the Mayo Clinic revealed.
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Sharon Bell is an avid eyelash packaging eyelashes and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine