Vitiligo is a lasting condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. The absence of melanin, a skin pigment, triggers vitiligo. It can affect any area of the skin, but it commonly comes about on the face, neck, hands, and in skin folds.
The light areas of skin are more vulnerable to sunburn, so it is important to take extra precaution when in the sun and use a sunscreen with a high SPF.
What triggers vitiligo?
Vitiligo arises when melanocytes die or stop producing melanin, the pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes color. The affected patches of skin become lighter or white. It is uncertain as to what exactly causes these pigment cells to fail or die.
It may be linked to an autoimmune condition, heredity, or a trigger event, such as stress, severe sunburn, or skin trauma.
How does vitiligo progress?
Vitiligo typically begins with a few small white patches that may slowly spread over the body over the course of more than a few months. It characteristically begins on the hands, forearms, feet, and face but can progress on any part of the body, including the mucous membranes, the eyes, and inner ears.
Occasionally, the larger patches continue to widen and spread, but usually, they stay in the same place for years. The site of smaller macules shifts and changes over time, as certain areas of skin lose and regain their pigments. Vitiligo differs in the amount of skin affected, with some patients experiencing few depigmented parts and others with widespread loss of skin color.
Observations made it pretty clear that vitiligo is an autoimmune disease started by melanocyte strain, made worse by exposure to chemicals. Genetic factor inherited from your parents impact all of these pieces.
Phototherapy with UVB light
Exposure to UVB lamps is a common treatment option for vitiligo. Home treatment involves a small lamp that you can use daily, making it more effective.
Treatment time is longer in the hospital, which is about 2 to 3 visits a week.
If there are white spots across large parts of the body, UVB phototherapy may be used. You would need a full-body treatment in a hospital.
UVB phototherapy, together with other treatments, can have a helpful effect on vitiligo.