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Understand what Vitiligo is and what causes this disease

Whiteheads are still the target of prejudice and can affect the patient’s social life

Vitiligo is a benign and non-contagious disease. However, the white spots on the skin, the main feature of this pathology, usually generate prejudice and stigma. “Lesions caused by vitiligo have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, emotionally, psychologically and on self-esteem, and can, in some cases, also harm the individual’s professional and social life”, says Dr. Jaqueline Zmijevski, dermatologist of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) and Fellow in Trichology of the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB).

Prejudices and stigmas condition the social life of people with vitiligo

What is Vitiligo?

According to the dermatologist, Vitiligo is characterized by the loss of skin pigmentation due to the decrease in melanin production by various mechanisms that are still not fully understood, which leads to the formation of white spots of different sizes, in places such as the face, elbows, hands, knees, armpits.

“Spots can appear at any age, especially in young people and young adults, in a single part of the body, with single or multiple spots, in an entire segment or even throughout the body, and can also affect the color of the hair and hair,” explains the doctor. Stains tend to develop throughout life in cycles of fading and waterlogging and can increase in size over time.

Causes of the disease

Unfortunately, the causes of Vitiligo are still unknown. “One of the hypotheses is that the disease is related to alterations of the immune system. Additionally, vitiligo is related to genetics, as people who have a family history of the disease are more likely to develop white patches. It is also known that emotional changes, such as stress, can aggravate the existing condition or act as a trigger in predisposed individuals,” emphasizes Dr Jaqueline Zmijevski.

There are no scientifically proven ways to prevent Vitiligo

How to prevent Vitiligo?

The dermatologist explains that there are no scientifically proven ways to prevent the appearance of white dots. “However, patients with a family history of the disease are recommended to avoid factors associated with the onset or worsening of disease lesions, such as friction, unprotected sun exposure, and stress,” explains the expert .

treatments for vitiligo

Just as it cannot be prevented, vitiligo also has no cure, but it is benign and, if the patient wishes, it can be cured through therapies that aim to control the size of the lesions and restore pigmentation to the skin. “Treatment of vitiligo may include, for example, phototherapy with UVA and UVB radiation, topical and oral medications such as corticosteroids, lasers and, in some cases, even surgery for melanocyte transplantation,” lists Dr. Jacqueline Zmijevski.

However, the doctor emphasizes that consultation with a specialist is essential for the treatment of the disease. “But beware of miracle products and homemade recipes that promise re-pigmentation of the skin. The most important thing, when you notice the appearance of white spots, is consult the dermatologist receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment, individualized for each case, with results that vary greatly from patient to patient, and the earlier the treatment is carried out, the better the results will be”, he concludes.

By Pedro Del Claro

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Source: Terra

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