Vitiligo is considered an autoimmune disease which means that for some unknown reason the body (the immune system) destroys some of its melanocytes, resulting in no melanin being produced in those areas of the skin, at which point the skin completely loses its color and becomes discolored (turns white). It is estimated that vitiligo appears in 1 % – 4% of the general population worldwide. In Greece this percentage ranges at 2,5%-3%. It may be related, that is, to appear from birth (about at 1 /3 of cases) or later when it is called acquired (about 2/3 of cases).

It is more common in sunny countries, especially in North Africa, and has been described as a "disease of light", as the sun, Enhances the contrast between "tanned" healthy skin and discolored diseased skin.

 

It is presented most often before the age of twenty . Appears with one or more spots without any pigment (colour), which usually first appear around normal holes (around eyes, genitals) or in areas of skin friction such as elbows and knees.

The evolution its is unpredictable. Some spots are fixed, while others expand and merge with adjacent larger plates are formed. In some cases there is an automatic remission of the disease. In other words, There is no way to predict the development of vitiligo. It can remain as it is, to expand or self-medicate.

Sometimes colorless spots occupy the whole body and can even affect the hair and scalp. (white tufts). Caution! What is certain is that vitiligo is not transmitted, it is not a contagious disease and does not cause health problems. This is a purely aesthetic problem. However, widespread vitiligo creates serious psychological problems in patients which in turn worsen the disease., thus creating a vicious circle without end.

 

Where shows up

Vitiligo can occur anywhere on the body and face. But more often it is found:

  • On the upper eyelids.
  • In the neck.
  • In the extremities of the hands.
  • In the genitals.
  • On the nipples.

 

What may have caused me vitiligo;

It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body itself produces antibodies against melanocytes. The reason is not known. Although about 20% of cases is attributed heredity, Vitiligo is probably not considered an inherited disease. This theory is based on the fact that high rates of the disease occur in people of the same family.

 

Key factors that trigger vitiligo.

Intense stress or distress is often what triggers vitiligo, while in some cases it appears to be associated with or coexist with thyroid disorders with Addison's disease, Birmer anemia or other autoimmune diseases, such as gyroid alopecia

 

Remember! Do not confuse vitiligo with variegated dandruff (the most common fungal infection of the summer).

 

Treatment of vitiligo

The treatment of vitiligo as for other autoimmune diseases, remains accidental. In other words, it does not hit the cause of the disease, but by suppressing the immune system locally, it tries to help the symptoms and therefore does not promise a complete cure.. Also the treatment is always individualized, depending on the age of the patient the location and extent of the lesion, the age of the disease, the time of year etc.. Also treatments that helped a patient, may not help someone else because of each patient's different immune response.

When there are few injuries to the body or limbs, we prefer topical treatments, ie the application of a cream on the area of ​​the skin that shows damage. In addition to the classic corticosteroid creams (cortisone) , There are also more modern approaches such as combining corticosteroids with vitamin D.(calcipotriol) or creams that do not contain any cortisone but other substances such as pepper extract. In more persistent cases we can make intrauterine injections (injectors) within the problem area. Finally, in the very resistant forms of the disease, we give oral corticosteroids or do photochemotherapy with phenylalanine and simultaneous exposure to the sun.. Another solution is phototherapy with NARROW BAND UVB,

In any case, we recommend the patient to have a balanced diet with daily consumption of vegetables and fruits. (if this is difficult we recommend dietary supplements and specifically VITAMIN E, FOLLIC ACID AND VITAMIN C. Equally important is good sleep and stress management (relaxation techniques, hobby, when the problem is extended help from a specialist)

In cases where someone has an extensive form of vitiligo where there are few remnants of normal skin, a permanent discoloration of normal skin can be done in order to achieve uniformity..

 

Instructions:

  • Use of sunscreen products (during sun exposure is necessary in areas where there is a vitiligo problem, to prevent the formation of tumors in areas of vitiligo where melanocytes are missing which act protectively).
  • Long-sleeved clothes in summer (also for photoprotection purposes).
  • Waterproof medical make-up (because they give a good aesthetic result and because they do not stain clothes and