There are number of vitiligo symptoms. It is important that if you suspect that you have the skin disease, to make an appointment with your physician to get an accurate diagnosis.
Main Symptoms of Vitiligo
One of the main vitiligo symptoms is the loss of pigmentation in several areas of the body that results in white patches on the skin. These areas include:
- Sun exposed skin
- Armpits, knees, eyelids, and hair
- Areas around body openings (nostrils, navel, genitals and rectum)
- Areas around body moles
- Loss of color in the eye’s retina
The first development of vitiligo can be followed by no progression of the disease until at a much later time, sometimes years, when further pigment loss occurs. Other individuals have no other progression of vitiligo. Some vitiligo patients suffered more pigment loss when they were dealing with physical and emotional stress.
Typically, vitiligo will appear in three patterns:
- Focal – skin color loss only happens in a number of small areas
- Segmental Pattern – skin color loss only on one side of the body
- Generalized Pattern – the most common form of vitiligo, with skin color loss on both sides of the body in a symmetrical pattern
Illnesses Associated with Vitiligo
After analyzing your symptoms for vitiligo, your doctor will give you a physical exam and take a small sample from the affected skin. While inflamed cells in the sample can be a signal of vitiligo, they can also be the result from a number of other illnesses associated with vitiligo. A Woods light examination is also used to rule out other diseases that cause spots on the skin, like lupus, chemical leukoderma, and pityriasis alba.
Pernicious anemia, a condition in which the intestines cannot absorb vitamin B12, is often associated with vitiligo. Other illnesses that are linked to vitiligo is hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) and diabetes.
People who contract vitiligo are usually healthy individuals, with normal skin textures. Though, vitiligo is prevalent with those that have been diagnosed with other particular autoimmune diseases, such as Addison’s Disease and alopecia.
Who Vitiligo Affects
Although vitiligo can affect anyone at any age, including infants, it usually develops in those between the ages of 20 and 30. It develops equally among men and women and affects every race. Vitiligo affects approximately one to two percent of the world’s population. In places with races of people with darker skin, like India and Africa, vitiligo has become a social stigma, lessening those living with it the chance to advance socially and personally. Individuals in these areas with vitiligo have few marriage proposals or professional advancement.
Children with vitiligo can have a tough time dealing with it, especially when this is the period in their lives when they are trying to “fit in.” Anything that makes a child look different from the majority of other children can be emotionally challenging. If you are a parent of a child with vitiligo, it is important to make sure that your child doesn’t feel ashamed about the skin discoloration. If your child accepts his or her difference, then it will be easier for them to explain it to others and not feel self-conscious. Children can inform their classmates that they cannot “catch” vitiligo from them.
Causes of Vitiligo
There are no theories as to the definite cause of vitiligo. Melanin, which determines the color of your skin, is produced in the epidermis (outer layer of skin on the body). Regardless of race, everyone is born with the same amount of pigment cells. It is an inherited characteristic of how rapid melanin will produce in these cells and how much will be in the epidermis to form skin color. A white patch is created when melanin has not formed. When the white patch gets bigger and expands, it can be vitiligo.
Because the symptoms of vitiligo can be associated with another disease, it is imperative to have a doctor examine your skin to rule out another illness. If your physician confirms vitiligo, then you will most likely be referred to a dermatologist who is more knowledgeable on adverse skin conditions. The most important factor is to get diagnose early, when the skin first starts discoloring, so that you can immediately begin treatment.
This information was based information provided in Michael Dawson’s popular Natural Vitiligo Treatment System guide. This 60+ page eBook is available for a discounted price of $37 (original price is $125). Read our review on it before you buy it.