If one could connect a face with a particular condition, it’s likely that when speaking of Vitiligo, individuals would immediately picture the late Michael Jackson. As explained by the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center, this is because he is the most famous person to have claimed to suffer from it. In fact, there was a rumor that skin discoloration was one reason why the star wore a single white glove. Even so, the reality concerning Vitiligo is that while it is not a contagious or life-threatening condition, it can cause one to feel self-conscious about his or her appearance. To learn more about this unpredictable disease and treatments to restore the appearance of skin, continue reading below.
Vitiligo is characterized by loss of skin color, resulting in a blotchy or patchy appearance. To better understand, an individual’s hair color and skin color is determined by melanin. Yet, in a person with Vitiligo, the cells that produce melanin either die or stop functioning (Mayo Clinic). For the most part, the disease presents itself on sun-exposed areas (hands, feet, arms, face) first, and is marked by loss of skin color in patchy areas. Moreover, though some forms of Vitiligo result in symmetrical patches of pale skin, others are segmental or localized, and might only last a few years. Even so, additional manifestations include premature whitening or graying of hair (including eyebrows and eyelashes), loss of color in the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth, and even loss of color in the inner layer of the eye.
There are several theories as to why pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning. For instance, a number of professionals believe that Vitiligo is related to an autoimmune disorder, family history, inflammation or some type of skin exposure. Unfortunately, treatment of the disease is often as unpredictable as the disease itself. That’s why it’s wise to consult a dermatologist with experience in treating Vitiligo.
At Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists in Marietta, Georgia, our team of dermatologists is uniquely familiar with Vitiligo. While we understand that it is difficult to treat, we remain confident in our ability to develop a personalized treatment protocol for even the most complex cases. To schedule an appointment or evaluation, call today!