Vitiligo is a medical condition where melanocyte, a type of pigment found in the human body, deteriorates in certain areas of the sign. It causes partial or complete loss of skin color in the affected areas, creating patches of white skin on one’s body.
There are more than 50 million peoples all around the world who suffer from this disease. In the United States alone, 2 to 5 million people are affected by this disorder. The exact vitiligo cause is yet unknown; however, some scientists believe that it happens because certain individual’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the pigment generating cells in his/her skin.
The vitiligo symptoms generally become visible before the age of 20. The absence of pigments makes one extremely vulnerable to direct UV exposure. It can create irritation in the skin, which can lead to several other issues like rashes, spots, flaking, etc.Thankfully, a patient can follow some simple dos and don’ts to prevent further complications from happening.
Here are a few of those.
• Direct sunlight exposer – It is best to avoid direct sunlight whenever possible to prevent any scaling or rashes on the affected part of the body. Limiting the amount of time you are out under the sun, applying SPF s15 or higher grade sunscreen on the exposed part of your body before going out of your house can keep the vitiligo skin in good condition.
• Clothing – Fabrics that do not absorb moisture is a big no-no for people with this medical condition. Avoid synthetic clothes at all cost. Wear something made out of cotton and avoid wearing anything too tight around the waist.
Damp clothes can also irritate areas of your skin affected by such depigmentation. You should also wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent irritation around the face.
• Skincare – During dry seasons, use natural oils like olive oil and sesame oil to keep your skin healthy. Vitiligo skin can easily lose its moisture; using naturally derived emollients can help it retain its vitality.
You should always avoid soaps with a higher acidic nature. Use mild, non-acidic body wash, glycerin based soaps, etc. Also, remember to apply moisturizer right after you take a shower.
• Cosmetics – Doctors recommend avoiding hair dyes, lipsticks, perfumes, etc. for people with leucoderma.
• Accessories – Things made out of rubber, like a watch strap, slippers, gloves, etc. can accelerate precipitation and seal in the moisture at that area for an extended period. It can create irritation in sensitive skin, causing further skin damage.
A person with leucoderma should also maintain a diet of leafy vegetables, fruits and salads to stay healthy. Junk food, pre-made bakery products, processed foods and cold drinks can severely harm their overall health condition. Medical experts suggest drinking plenty of water throughout the day and consume freshly cooked foods so that they absorb as much nutrients as possible.
Although Vitiligo cure is not possible, this disease poses no life-threatening risks and is not contagious either. Proper diet, some extra care, and careful lifestyle can help a patient to easily avoid any physical discomfort.