About Vitiligo and Skin Pigmentation
The late rock star Michael Jackson was someone with the skin condition known as Vitiligo. This is when the pigment (usually a tan to brown colour) starts to fade and develop unusual white patches that feel the same as always but which have suddenly lost colour.
Generally, vitiligo is believe to be a malfunction of the immune system in which the white cells begin to destroy and attack the melanocytes (brown pigmentation cells), but no one is sure why this happens. This is a very typical statement associated with almost all of the autoimmune diseases. Doctors understand what is happening but cannot say why it started or what may have triggered it.
Interestingly enough, many people who develop vitiligo have other autoimmune disorders ranging from autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) to the Addison’s Disease.
The good news about vitiligo and skin pigmentation is that it does not alter the texture or feel of the skin. This means that there will not be any irregular wrinkles or discomfort associated with the condition. The bad news is that vitiligo is something that can be a challenge to treat. In most cases the patients are given phototherapy, which is a sort of ultraviolet light treatment. This makes the skin more sensitive to light and prone to darkening to compensate for the changes in colour.
There are also some topical creams such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and drugs that attempt to trigger cellular activity. Many patients also try to cover the areas of altered pigmentation, but this can be difficult when it is the face and hands.
There are many types of makeup designed to help those with vitiligo and skin pigmentation issues. People with vitiglio may want to ask their skin care professional for some recommendations. They will also want to use sunscreen since the condition makes it much easier to get a severe sunburn.
If you have questions or concerns about vitiligo and skin pigmentation contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dermatologist.