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Vitiligo also known leucoderma or white spot disease is a pigmentary disorder where the skin and mucosa lose its pigment. It affects 0.5 to 1% of population. Gujarat has the highest prevalence in the world with 8.8% of population affected. It affects both men and women equally though women are more likely to seek treatment. There are well defined depigmented lesions which can affect any part of body. It occurs due to destruction of melanocytes (pigment producing cells). In occur at any age. It is genetically determined. The exact cause of vitiligo is not known. Autoimmune causes, neurogenic disturbance and oxidative stress are suspected causes.
Vitiligo lesions may be itchy. There is an increased chance of sunburn hence these lesions should be protected from the sun( by covering the lesion or application of sunscreen).
Types of vitiligo:
There are three types of vitiligo: localised, generalised or universal.
Localised : It can be focal or segmental.
Focal vitiligo is a single lesion which can occur in any part. It may remain stagnant or completely repigment. It could also be a part of evolving progressive vitiligo.
Segmental vitiligo : It affects a specific part or segment of the body. These lesions do not usually spread beyond their segment. They have sharply defined margins and have many shapes and patterns. It can affect any body part though it is more commonly seen on head and neck area and trunk.
Features of segmental vitiligo:
They can occur in any part of the body and are not confined to a particular segment. They have varying rates of progression. Generalised vitiligo are of three types: vitiligo vulgaris, acrofacial vitiligo or mixed.
There is global loss of melanocytes from the entire skin and mucosa.
Associations of vitiligo:
Vitiligo maybe associated with thyroid dysfunction and other autoimmune disorders
Important: Many patients are made to believe that vitiligo is related to diet. They have many restrictions on food. There is no scientific proof to suggest the relation between diet and vitiligo. Hence, we strongly advocate against following any such dietary restrictions.
Vitiligo at Dermafollix:
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