Vitiligo Skin Disorder

The health of the skin is very important for the overall health and beauty of the body. The skin is responsible for protecting the organs of the body by keeping them in sequence along the body length and holding them upright for proper functioning. The skin surface of any individual can be able to clearly show the inner body’s health status. When the skin is not healthy, this is a significant sign showing that some organs inside the body are not in good working order. Skin disorders arise when an inner body malady has not been addressed at the initial stages, inside the body. Vitiligo skin disorder is a skin disease that arises from underperformingskin pigmentation hormones.

Vitiligo is the skin condition that happens when the skin loses its natural skin pigmentation or color. This happens when the body attacks the cells that produce melanin. Melanin is responsible for the skin color tone in every individual. Skin colors range from very fair to very dark depending on the intensity of the sun within that region of the world. The areas of the world with very hot sun have people with darker skin and vice versa for the areas with less sun. Melanin protects the skin from the damage of the harsher rays of the sun. It is vital and very important for the skins’ natural function of protecting the body’s organs and holding them in place.

The Vitiligo skin disorder starts as small white patches on the skin. These may later become larger in size. They first appear as lighter in skin shade than the rest of the skin and then gradually lighten in color until they are white or pinkish and clearly distinguishable in color from the rest of the skin. Vitiligo skin order is not known to affect many children below their first year of birth. It is most prevalent in people of between 10 and 40 years. It affects both men and women alike. This skin disorder can affect any part of the body from the face, neck, hands, torso, back, legs and feet. About 0.5 – 1% of the worlds’ population are affected i.e. one in every hundred people has Vitiligo.

The Vitiligo skin disorder is not infectious or contagious. Some schools of thought say that it is hereditary although some statistics oppose this. The types of Vitiligo skin disorder depend on the sufferer and can be categorized in these groups;

  • Acrofacial Vitiligo is the most common. This is the Vitiligo localized on the face including the eyes, lips and ears. Vitiligo skin disorder on the hair appears as spots of silvery white hair on a background of darker hair. Many children have this kind of Vitiligo.
  • Segmental Vitiligo which appears on the body in a unilateral or asymmetrical manner.
  • Universal Vitiligo (Totalis Vitiligo) which is spread over majority of the body surface. Sometimes the spread is so vast that it can be confused for the original skin color.

Diagnosing Vitiligo skin disorder is not difficult but treating it can be a challenge because of the risk factors and other diseases associated with it. For a proper diagnosis to be made so as to ascertain that it is indeed the Vitiligo skin disorder, a doctor must check among other factors, the age of the patient, their family history, events leading to the onset of this disorder and the affected areas both on the body surface and inside the body openings like the mouth, nose, eyes and rectum.

The basic tests needed to be conducted to verify that the Vitiligo skin disorder is present are;

  • Blood sugar test – where the blood sugar level is determined both before and after meals. Diabetes also has been known to be linked to the Vitiligo skin disorder because it creates a weakening of the body’s autoimmune system.
  • Thyroid function tests – where the thyroid is examined to check whether it is over producing inadequate levels of thyroxine for the body. If it is, then the Vitiligo skin disorder is one of the consequences of a malfunctioning thyroid. The disease associated with this condition is called Hyperthyroidism.
  • Adrenal function tests – where the adrenal gland is tested for the proper functioning of the metabolism of the body. If the adrenal gland does not produce adequate amounts of adrenaline then the bodies’ metabolism will perform below par and produce consequences on the skin like the Vitiligo skin disorder. The disease associated with this is called Addison’s disease.
  • Liver and renal function tests – where the liver and kidneys are checked for their ability to dispose of waste products from the body. Excessive toxins in the body are dangerous and affect body organs including the skin and can cause Vitiligo skin disorder.
  • Antinuclear antibody tests – where the body is tested for its ability to fight off infections adequately. If the body is unable to fight off infections within it, then the skin, which is the final frontier, can get affected and produce disorders like Vitiligo.
  • Red blood cell count – where the right proportions of red blood cells that absorb vitamin B12 from the intestinal tract must be present. If not, a condition called pernicious anemia arises and this is associated with Vitiligo skin disorder.

People with the Vitiligo suffer great stress because of their appearance and also some may be stigmatized. This stress if not addressed can lead to the further spread of this condition. Luckily for many sufferers there are many treatments ranging from home made remedies, herbals concoctions and even medical cures to address this condition. Sometimes, the white spots of the Vitiligo skin disorder begin pigmenting naturally although this is not common.

There is no exact cause for this skin condition but there are combinations of factors that can lead to this disorder. These factors include among many others, extensive exposure to the sun, lack of proper diet, chemical exposure, skin surface injury or skin trauma, genetic predisposition and the presence of other related conditions.

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