What Is Vitiligo? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 19:37
According to the MayoClinic Staff, Vitiligo (vit-ih-LI-go) is a condition in which your skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, causing slowly enlarging white patches of irregular shapes to appear on your skin. Exactly why this occurs isn't known.

Vitiligo affects all races, but may be more noticeable and disfiguring in people with darker skin. Vitiligo usually starts as small areas of pigment loss that spread with time. These changes in your skin can result in stress and worries about your appearance. Like Scleroderma, there is no cure for vitiligo.

The goal of treatment is to stop or slow the progression of pigment loss and, if you desire, attempt to return some color to your skin.

Although any part of your body may be affected by Vitiligo, depigmentation usually develops first on sun-exposed areas of your skin, such as your hands, feet, arms, face and lips. Although it can start at any age, Vitiligo often first appears between the ages of 10 and 30.

The natural course of Vitiligo is difficult to predict. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. But, in most cases, pigment loss spreads and can eventually involve most of the surface of your skin.

taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/40097140@N02/3798426328/ via creative commonsDoctors and scientists have theories as to what causes Vitiligo. It may be due to an immune system disorder. Heredity may be a factor because there's an increased incidence of Vitiligo in some families. Some people have reported a single event, such as sunburn or emotional distress, that triggered the condition. However, none of these theories has been proven as a definite cause of Vitiligo.

Vitiligo is the most likely diagnosis in cases in which there is a progressive depigmentation leading to symmetrically distributed, chalk-white macules on the face, neck, scalp, mucous membranes, or periorificial areas, and not accompanied by any other symptom. This is essentially what differentiates Vitiligo from Scleroderma.

Diffuse scleroderma may result in areas of skin hypopigmentation. However, systemic signs of Scleroderma include essential vasomotor disturbances, such as Raynaud's phenomenon, fibrosis, and abnormalities of the lungs, kidneys, digestive system, and heart.

For more information on Vitiligo, you're welcome to view the MayoClinic's full article here, or visit the Vitiligo Foundation here. The International Scleroderma Network has some excellent links to additional resources on Vitiligo, such as diagnoses, personal stories and more. Similarly, there are many research papers on Vitiligo, one of which you can read here.
 
More articles :

» New Formulation of PAH Medication Is Now Available

Epoprostenol for Injection, an improved formulation of epoprostenol that is stable at room temperature, is now commercially available, according to the drug's maker, Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc., of South San Francisco, Calif.The product is...

» New Genetic Path Targeted For Scleroderma Therapy

A genetic pathway previously known for its role in embryonic development and cancer has been identified as a target for systemic sclerosis, or scleroderma, therapy. The finding, discovered by a cross-disciplinary team led by John Varga, MD, John and...

» Bosentan May Reduce Skin Fibrosis in Scleroderma

Bosentan, which has been shown to prevent digital ulcers in, also may have beneficial effects on .In a small, prospective, open-label study, treatment with the dual endothelin receptor antagonist was associated with a significant reduction in skin...

» Platelet Gel In The Treatment Of Severe Scleroderma Skin Ulcers

Dilia Giuggioli, Michele Colaci, Andreina Manfredi, Mariateresa Mariano and Clodoveo FerriSystemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by microvascular damage and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Non-healing skin ulcers, mainly non-venous leg...

» Jefferson Researchers Identify Mechanism Behind Fibrotic Disorder

Scientists from the of Thomas Jefferson University are now several steps closer to understanding the mechanism behind a novel systemic fibrotic disorder that affects some patients with renal insufficiency who receive imaging contrast agents for...

» Adult Stem Cells Are Helping Scleroderma Patients

Dr. Richard Burt and colleagues at Northwestern University have just published a new study in that provides more evidence for the success of adult stem cell transplant in treating System Sclerosis ().Ten patients were treated with their own adult...