Vitiligo produces macules which are small areas of different skin color. The skin disorder may also produce patches which are flat, pale or white and can't be felt with fingers. These marks frequently expand to form very large, irregularly-shaped areas with no pigmentation. Typically, these are painless and do not itch. The cause of Vitiligo is not known, but autoimmunity may be a factor. Since it is a disorder with complex causes, people seem to inherit a genetic tendency for the disorder, and the appearance of which can be brought on by a variety of precipitating causes. It is often believed that Vitiligo first appears during a traumatic or stressful event, such as an accident, job loss, death of a family member, severe sunburn, or serious illness. Stress affects the immune system, leading the body to react and start eliminating skin pigment.
The primary symptom of the disorder is the loss of skin color. Hair growing from the affected skin areas also lacks color or may also be associated with the premature graying of hair. Moreover, it causes pigment abnormalities of the retina or iris of the eyes. A minority of patients also may have inflammation of the retina or iris.
Since Vitiligo appears to be an acquired condition, thus it may appear at any age. Half of individuals with Vitiligo develop patches (http://www.curevitiligooil.com/Vitiligo-Patches.html ) or marks of de-pigmented skin appearing on extremities before they turn 20. These marks may grow, shrink, or remain constant in size and are often occur symmetrically across both sides on the body. In some cases, small areas may repigment as they are recolonised by melanocytes. The location of vitiligo affected skin changes over time. Some patches are re-pigmented and others become affected. Vitiligo may also affect facial and body hair.
Individuals who develop Vitiligo usually first notice white patches on their skin. It is often called depigmentation, caused when skin loses its pigment. These patches are more commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. Other common areas for pale patches to appear are the armpits and groin, and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, genitals, and rectal areas. The disorder generally shows its symptom in one of three patterns:
Focal pattern . Segmental Pattern, Generalized Pattern
In floral pattern, the depigmented patches are limited to one or only a few areas. In segmented pattern, they develop on only one side of the body whereas in generalized pattern, the patches appear all over the body. In addition to white/pale marks, patients may notice premature graying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard. It changes color by leaving white patches or streaks. When it develops on the scalp, melanin stops producing which will cause the hair growing from the affected area to turn white or grey. Also, people with dark skin may have a loss of color inside their mouths.
Consult your doctor immediately upon noticing any of the aforementioned symptoms. People getting Vitiligo often remain ignorant and do not take seriously on the signs like premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard. Some of other less common signs may include loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and loss or change in color of the inner layer of your eye (retina).
Though there is no way to tell if the condition will spread from the original patch or how fast, yet individuals with the disorder are otherwise healthy and have normal skin texture and sensation. However, the condition may be more common in people with certain autoimmune diseases. These are the diseases in which your immune system reacts against your body's own organs or tissues. Some of these diseases include Addison's disease, vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia), or thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
The natural course of vitiligo is difficult to predict but sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In other cases, it is fairly likely you will notice other white patches appearing. For some people this happens quickly, whereas in others the marks may remain the same. Vitiligo does not cause any physical discomfort to the affected skin, such as itching; but, people with the condition may feel very distressed and unhappy by the appearance of their skin. So it's highly recommended that attention should be paid to the psychological well-being of the Vitiligo affectee.
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