The small white patches that are seen on the skin are vitiligo symptoms. In this medical disorder related to pigmentation, the melanocytes which produce pigment for the skin get destroyed. This leaves that section of skin minus any pigmentation, showing up the white patches on the skin. These hypo pigmented white patches on the skin are the main symptom of this skin disorder.
The appearance and its effect
The skin can develop a trichrome appearance with three shades being seen. There is the white pact in the center with a lighter colored less de-pigmented part surrounding the white patch, and the native skin color beyond this less de-pigmented area. The skin also has a tendency to become red very fast as the UV rays from the sun affect it severely in the absence of any pigmentation protection.
What else gets affected?
The skin alone is not affected even the hair which grows on the skin with vitiligo symptoms will be white in color. The skin pigmentation disease can be a major problem for a person’s self esteem as the patchy appearance can look ugly.
What is worse is that with time the size of these white patches on the skin can actually increase. This has a tendency to make the person more of an introvert as the physical deformity can be scorned or misunderstood to be contagious by other people around them.
People suffering from vitiligo find it difficult to have to explain the skin disease or avoid the stares that they get from strangers. After a while this can take a toll on their emotional health.
Two types of vitiligo
There are two main types of vitiligo, these are segmental and symmetrical vitiligo. In segmental vitiligi, the white patches on the skin are limited to one segment or side of the body. It is likely that the body may develop some more patches on the same side or segment but not anywhere else. While insymmetrical vitiligo the white patches appear on the fingers, writs, armpits, and groin region. The patches are also seen around the natural orifices such as the mouth, nose, and eyes.
What causes vitiligo symptoms?
There are any number of triggers which can cause this skin pigmentation disorder in an individual. The most common causes are genetic tendency, hormonal problems, trauma related injuries, stress based problems, drug over dosages, and auto immune tendencies. The vitiligo symptoms show up when the melanin which is responsible for the pigmentation of the skin gets depleted.
Treatment of vitiligo symptoms
The two pronged treatment of the skin disorder involves firstly controlling the spread of the disease by healing the immune system and secondly enhancing the formation of natural melanocyte to correct the existing white patches. The faster the disease is brought in for treatment the more likely it is to prevent fresh patches from coming up. It can take a while however for the existing patches to heal enough by producing pigmentation in the region of the skin affected.
As long as the spots are not too large or too many a definite improvement is seen in the skin condition within six months.