Vitiligo In Children

Like everyone else children also suffer from Vitiligo. Children of all ages suffer from Vitiligo although very few cases have been recorded in children less than one year old. In the young, Vitiligo first makes its presence felt prior to the age of 14. Parents of children in this age group are asked to take particular care of the child’s umbilical cord as this may be a source for the beginning of Vitiligo. Parents are encouraged to ensure that the area in and around the umbilical cord is cleaned daily as instructed in the hospital to prevent the accumulation of toxins that may later lead to the onset of Vitiligo in the young child.

Sometimes Vitiligo in children can be blamed on genetics but cases have been recorded where transmission levels are low. Even then, at that level it is still treatable in the young one. A better understanding of the incubation period of Vitiligo in young children is advised so as to ascertain the stages this disorder goes through before it manifests itself. The autoimmune system in young children is very active in fighting disorders before they present themselves and it is good to ensure that its effectiveness does not decline.

The food and drink that young children are given by their parents is the main factor in determining the onset of Vitiligo. This is primarily because Vitiligo is a disorder associated with lack of certain nutrients in the body and it degenerates as it progresses. When it shows on the outer surface of the young child’s skin, this is a clear sign of lack of certain nutrients in the child’s body. Vitiligo will more likely occur when the nutrition deficiency continues over a long period of time. When the cells of a young child’s body are not functioning as they should, then chances of getting disorder like Vitiligo are very high. Parents are strongly advised to ensure their children have adequate nutrition.

What is adequate nutrition in children? To know nutrition parents must know what nutrition is NOT;

  • Insufficient nutrition – providing your child will lower levels of nutrition than necessary for their natural growth. A good example is not giving your young child breast milk, which is the beginning source of a young child’s nutrition sufficiency.
  • Depleted nutrition – the body of the young child with depleted nutrition uses it all up and still needs more than is obtainable.
  • Inefficient nutrition – lack of proper balance in the diet between carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals that are important in the optimum growth of a young child’s body. It can also stem from eating the wrong type of food.
  • Mal-absorbed nutrition – where a young child’s body does not absorb nutrients the way they should be absorbed by an ordinary functioning body. This may be because of colic.
  • Indigestive nutrition – where there are some nutrients cannot be absorbed by the child’s body due to a problem in the intestinal tract. This can lead to pernicious anemia, which is directly related to Vitiligo.

From the above it can be seen that Vitiligo in children starts from inside the body and then presents on the skin which is normally the last frontier for defense against disease. It is therefore safe to say that Vitiligo in children arises from a lazy gut and a sluggish liver. It may also arise from certain allergies to food that the child may have. Vigorously exploring a child’s diet with the aim of correcting it, is the first defense against Vitiligo in children. In some cases children with a malfunctioning and over active thyroid have been known to have Vitiligo. It is therefore important for parents of a child with thyroid problems to get proper treatment and care to prevent the onset of childhood Vitiligo.

Children with Vitiligo are also very vulnerable to being stigmatized by their peers and it is very important for a parent to act in a manner that displays wisdom and forethought. Children respond differently to Vitiligo depending on the actual age of the child. The very young children from about 4 and younger seem oblivious to Vitiligo even if they have it. This is unless a bad incident happens in school that can trigger bullying or name calling bringing attention to the condition. A secure and peaceful environment for the young child is very important in determining how the young one accepts his or her condition. It is the responsibility of parents to provide this kind of stability especially to young children suffering from Vitiligo.

Children on their first day of school are particularly prone to being bullied about their condition and this, if not addressed at that time, can lead to problems later in life. If the child is encouraged to maintain a sunny disposition, usually the other children quickly learn to accept him or her as they are. This is especially true for nursery and primary school age children. Further to this parents of children with Vitiligo can;

  • Think ahead of the child especially when the child is getting into a new environment. The parent must prepare the child and motivate them to behave naturally irrespective of their condition.
  • Be especially attentive to the mood swings of the young child with the aim of addressing and correcting them where necessary.
  • Get help from other parents with similar children or support groups that offer help for children with Vitiligo and their parents or guardians.
  • Lead by example and encourage their child to pursue new interests and talents.

Soon enough the primary school years are over and the young child is now a teenager. As we all know, teenagers can be very obsessive with their appearance. They are also hyper sensitive about what they feel are their personal physical defects. Here a parent has to grow into the role by;

  • Assurance of their unconditional lifelong affection.
  • Get co-operation from class teachers.
  • Solicit co-operation from your child’s friends.
  • Lavish high praise for the child’s accomplishments to ensure he or she remains optimistic.
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