Vitiligo || Everything You Need To Know
Karen Wazen opened up about her journey with vitiligo on her Instagram page in 2021 after being diagnosed with the condition three years prior. Another name that is attached to this rare disease is Winnie Harlow. Thanks to them and to the new generation that celebrates our unique differences, the stigma from 50 years ago that forced us to hide all of our beautiful singularities is slowly dying. So what is vitiligo, why does it happen, and how can it be treated? To get all the answers, read below.
What is Vitiligo?
It is a long-term skin condition that occurs when white patches develop on the skin. It is caused when a person’s melanocytes are destroyed by the body’s immune system. The disease can happen to anyone, but commonly it is found in people between the age of 10-30. These white random blotches can appear on any area of the skin, hair, and even eyes but the most affected areas are the face, neck, and hands.
- White patches on the skin.
- Premature graying or whitening of the hair, eyebrows, facial hair, or eyelashes.
- Loss of pigment in the mucous membranes, including the inner lining of the nose and lips.
What Are The Causes?
Although the exact cause of this chronic disease is still unknown, some theories suggest that vitiligo can be brought on by an autoimmune disorder that causes a person’s immune system to develop antibodies that destroy melanocytes. Other theories say that the cause of vitiligo includes genetic factors, neurogenic factors, and self-destruction.
And according to dermatologists, the condition can be triggered by many factors including an emotionally or physically stressful event.
What Are The Cures?
While till now, there is no cure for vitiligo, there are some treatments that can help manage the condition. Some patients seek medical treatments such as light therapy, camouflage therapy, repigmentation therapy, and even surgery. Others go for topical creams that can improve focal vitiligo. One of the creams that showed promising results in facial repigmentation is the eczema cream Opzelura. Using 1.5% ruxolitinib cream twice daily resulted in facial repigmentation after 52 weeks: 50 percent of patients achieved greater than 75 percent improvement.