What is Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a serious skin disease. In this disease the skin of a person loses its pigment because of which there occurs pale or white, irregular patches or areas on the skin. The areas of the skin which are commonly affected are the areas of face, arms, hands, legs and the genital areas. Vitiligo is caused when the melanocytes in the body die or they are not able to perform their required function. But this is the only one cause which is known and understood as the precise cause of vitiligo is still very complicated and cannot be understood as a whole. This disease affects about .5 to 1 percent of the people of the world. Also vitiligo disease is caused to most people before the age of 40 years and half of the affected gets the disease before they get into 20 years of age. 

Vitiligo is not limited to a country or group of people but it affects people of all ethnicity. Also both male and females can get affected by this disease. Only is the thing which has been observed is that the disease can be seen more easily on skin of a dark tone. But still there are some theories given in the respect of vitiligo mechanism. The first is that there is a chemical released by nerve endings in skin that is very harmful for melanocytes. The next theory is that the melanocytes destruct themselves only. And after that there is a theory that vitiligo is a kind of autoimmune disease in which the body’s cells and tissues are harmed by the immune system only. 

Now talking about the kinds of vitiligo, there are the three major types. One is the

  • Generalized Pattern Vitiligo
  • Segmental Pattern Vitiligo
  • Focal Pattern vitiligo

In the generalized pattern vitiligo the patches occur on both the sides of the body skin. And in the Segmental pattern vitiligo the depigmented patches occur only on one side of the body skin. The focal pattern vitiligo is the rarest type of the disease which occurs at one point or few points of the body skin. This type of vitiligo and the segmental pattern vitiligo do not spread to other body parts but the generalized type of vitiligo do so. The usual occurrence of vitiligo on both sides of the patient’s body is in symmetry form. Sometimes small parts of the body skin may re-pigment because of being recolonised by the melanocytes.

One reason for the cause of Vitiligo can also be the stress which affects the body immune system. Such condition of immune system then results in the body to respond and begin losing the skin pigment. Vitiligo if caused on the scalp can affect the hair color. Though there are no such fixed treatments which can cure the disease but the herbal treatments have been good for this and have shown better results.