The pigment melanin is responsible for the color of our skin. Due to the destruction of pigment cells called melanin the skin will develop chalk white spots or patches. This is known as Vitiligo. Though vitiligo affects people from all races, the condition is more visible in people with darker skin. The problem causes distress in people with dark skin. This is a chronic disease which starts with small areas of the skin and spreading to larger areas of the skin. People within the age limit 10 to 30 are more prone to this condition. In about 30 % of the affected people the skin begins to re-pigment naturally if exposed to the sun.
Causes of Vitiligo
There are no definite causes identified for the development of vitiligo. It is considered as an autoimmune problem which attacks the pigment skins.
• In some people stress or illness acts as a triggering factor.
• According to scientists heredity may be a factor as there is increased incidence in vitiligo in people with a family history of vitiligo.
• People with family or personal history of endocrine diseases or connective tissue diseases are also prone to develop vitiligo. These include thyroid diseases, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, alopecia areata.
Symptoms Of Vitiligo
• The most prominent symptom of vitiligo is the de-pigmented patches on the skin.
• The de-pigmented patches are more common in the areas of the body that exposed to the sun such as arms, face, lips, hands and feet.
• The less common symptoms include premature whitening or graying of the hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.
• Loss of color of the mucous membranes lining the inside of the mouth is also seen in some affected people.
• There will be changes in the color of the retina.
Though there is no permanent remedy for vitiligo the home remedies for vitiligo helps to improve the appearance of the skin and to reduce the speed of progression of the disease.