According to statistics, 1% to 4% of the world population suffers from a condition known as vitiligo. It is an autoimmune disorder that affects the colour and texture of an individual’s skin. The first sign of vitiligo is a small, white patch on the skin, generally on the hand or the facial area. It then spreads to other areas of the body, often encompassing one’s entire physical appearance.
Notwithstanding the obvious chalky dis figuration of the skin, vitiligo is more than a physiological disorder. In most patients, it does substantial psychological and emotional damage as well. As researchers around the world try to find a way to cure vitiligo, let’s look at how one can live a life of confidence even with this disease.
Cultivating positivity to face vitiligo
The biggest challenge with vitiligo is building a positive self-image. A vast majority of patients suffering from this affliction experience low confidence and have a negative image regarding their bodies. There are some common psychological traits that most patients experience. They hide the disease as much as possible; they are weak at social interactions and often suffer from inferiority complex.
Here are a few things that you can try to be more self-assured of your appearance.
- Accept it as a part of your personality. Many vitiligo patients live in a constant state of denial or hiding, both of which are detrimental to their mental health.
- Realize that it’s a physical affliction that you have no control over. Don’t confuse it with who you are as a person.
- List down your positive qualities and reinforce them. It’ll help in building your self-esteem and also make you realise that you are more than the colour of your skin.
- Engage yourself in activities that you find appealing. It will underpin the idea that productivity is not dependent on any physical affliction.
- Connect with people having similar conditions. Their stories might give you confidence.
These habits can help vitiligo patients lead a more fulfilling and productive life. Some significant strides have been taken to cure vitiligo recently, which would give confidence to vitiligo patients around the world.
Advancement in vitiligo treatment
Vitiligo affects the skin’s pigment cells, mutating them in such a way that the skin’s natural colour disappears. To further complicate it, this disease is dynamic. It means that the discoloured patches may return to the original colour on their own.
Although a cure hasn’t been found yet, there has been some significant advancement in the field of vitiligo treatment. These include:
- Skin grafts
- UV light therapy
- Cell transplantation therapy
- Immune system modulators
Though a lot of research is still required to find a cure for vitiligo, these treatments are extremely helpful in containing or masking the disease. The UV light therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for vitiligo. It’s effective, but the progress is quite slow. Patients can expect to see a 75% of re-pigmentation in about 9 months to a year.
There is also news about a breakthrough in the field. The clinical trial of a type of drugs known as JAK inhibitors is underway in the USA. If successful, it’ll soon be available for leucoderma treatment in India as well.
Vitiligo is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Science is still finding a cure for it. In the meantime, it is possible to overcome the psychological barrier with a little support from people around and a positive mentality from your side.