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Vitiligo-a skin pigment problem

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Vitiligo-a skin pigment problem

Vitiligo is a long term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. Vitiligo is a disease in which the pigment cells of the skin, melanocytes, are destroyed in certain areas. The patches of skin and  hair and sometimes mouth and nose may also become white and usually have sharp margins. Most people who have vitiligo will develop the condition prior to age 40; about half develop it before age 20.

Vitiligo is classified into two categories

  • Segmental vitiligo (SV)
  • Non-segmental vitiligo (NSV)

Non-segmental vitiligo (NSV), there is usually some form of symmetry in the location of the patches of depigmentation. New patches also appear over time and can be generalized over large portions of the body or localized to a particular area.

  • Generalized Vitiligo: the most common pattern, wide and randomly distributed areas of depigmentation
  • Universal Vitiligo: depigmentation encompasses most of the body
  • Focal Vitiligo: one or a few scattered macules in one area, most common in children
  • Acrofacial Vitiligo: fingers and periorificial areas
  • Mucosal Vitiligo: depigmentation of only the mucous membranes

Segmental vitiligo (SV) differs in appearance, cause, and frequency of associated illnesses. It tends to affect areas of skin that are associated with dorsal roots from the spinal cord and is most often unilateral

Symptoms

  • Main symptom regarding Vitiligo are loss of skin color in the form of depigmented, or white, patches of skin in any location on the body. The patches are initially small, but often grow and change shape.

Causes

  • Changes in the immune system are responsible for the condition
  • Sometimes it associated with other medical conditions, including thyroid dysfunction.
  • Stress and tension are considered the most common causes of having this Vitiligo problem
  • Genetics

Diagnosis

An ultraviolet light can be used in the early phase of this disease for identification and to determine the effectiveness of treatment. Skin with vitiligo, when exposed to a blacklight, will glow blue

Treatment

Some medical treatments can reduce the severity of the condition, but it can be difficult to cure.

Immune suppressing medications including glucocorticoids (such as 0.05% clobetasol or 0.10% betamethasone) and calcineurin inhibitors (such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus) are considered to be first-line vitiligo treatments

 

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