Publish 19 October 2021
People Notice Vitiligo
Your vitiligo is more obvious to you than to others. Yet, you have learned to look beyond the spots. Others can too if you convey confidence. You might have many questions right now about your condition.
How common is vitiligo? Is it possible to even out my skin? Will my children inherit it? How can I maintain public confidence? Do environmental factors impact my vitiligo? How can dermatology help me? This article aims to provide answers that will instill confidence in you.
Rest assured, vitiligo does not impact most normal day-to-day activities. It is not contagious or life-threatening.
Why Do I Have Vitiligo?
Vitiligo affects people of all ages, ethnicity, and skin types. The incidence rate of vitiligo is 0.1% to 2% worldwide.  Genetics, autoimmune diseases, and environmental factors cause variation in skin pigmentation. Very light patches of skin can appear on any part of your body. Face, neck, and hands are most affected by this condition.
White vitiligo patches appear due to the loss of melanin, the hormone responsible for skin color. Elusive destruction of melanocytes inhibits melanin production. 
In most cases, areas of depigmentation increase with age. Some people experience itching before a new patch appears. Vitiligo can take a toll on your emotional health if you dwell on your appearance.
How Vitiligo Progresses In The Body
Some scientists believe that intrinsic factors and autoimmunity decrease melanocytes. Intrinsic factors include the production of free radicals in melanocytes. These can damage the DNA or RNA of a cell. This initiates the cell’s innate immunity. As a result, natural killer cells, inflammatory dendritic cells, and autoreactive T cells activate within melanocytes. 
Role of Environmental Factors
Your environment also contributes to vitiligo development. Exposure to phenolic compounds within resins, paints, and adhesives can damage melanocytes. Phenolic compounds interfere with melanin production, causing stress to cells. This induces an inflammatory response and autoimmune attack on melanocytes.
Dermatologist Remedies For Vitiligo
Certain dermatology interventions can reduce the impact of vitiligo. A dermatologist can suggest a combination of treatments to limit the effect. Options depend upon age, health, and personal preference. An individual may prefer no treatment. Makeup, skin dyes, and tanners can camouflage white patches of skin.
Steroids Help Treat Vitiligo
A dermatologist may recommend a cream or ointment containing corticosteroids. Applying topical steroids to white patches can minimize the non-pigmented area of the skin in some patients.  They can help regain original skin color after 4 to 6 months. Light and laser treatment are other options.
Other Treatment Options
Surgery is also a consideration for stable vitiligo on adults, not children. A medicine called psoralen is effective in reducing vitiligo by 50% to 75%. Sometimes UVA light improves results of psoralen.  Professionals consider light treatment more often for widespread vitiligo than small patches.
Most effective vitiligo treatment focuses on depigmented areas. Total depigmentation is a last option if all the other treatments fail. This removes all the pigment in your skin, resulting in a completely white color. Skin becomes more vulnerable to the sun due to loss of melanin. Use sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
How To Cope With Vitiligo
Behind the heavy makeup and photo retouching in today’s media, everyone has imperfections. Some people with vitiligo develop eye inflammation or hearing loss. But these affect others without vitiligo too.
Having a condition you can’t easily hide can negatively impact your self-esteem. It may take time for onlookers to appreciate the beauty in your skin’s appearance. But other vitiligans are coming into the spotlight.
Fashion model Winnie Harlow and ballerina Michaela DePrince are two examples. [6,7] Emmy award winning entertainment reporter Lee Thomas has become a spokesperson for vitiligo.  By not focusing on the spots, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do.
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