The World Vitiligo Day, observed on June 25 to educate people about vitiligo and create awareness about this rare skin disease which occurs due to a lack of melanin, that is, loss of pigment creating pale white patches on the skin. Vitiligo Day was introduced as this disease is often met with misconceptions of being a transferable disease on touch.
Vitiligo can start at any age, but usually appears before age 30.
Depending on the type of vitiligo you have, it may affect:
- Nearly all skin surfaces. With this type, called universal vitiligo, the discoloration affects nearly all skin surfaces.
- Many parts of the body. With this most common type, called generalized vitiligo, the discolored patches often progress similarly on corresponding body parts (symmetrically).
- Only one side or part of the body. This type, called segmental vitiligo, tends to occur at a younger age, progress for a year or two, then stop.
- One or only a few areas of the body. This type is called localized (focal) vitiligo.
- The face and hands. With this type, called acrofacial vitiligo, the affected skin is on the face and hands, and around body openings, such as the eyes, nose and ears.
It’s difficult to predict how this disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of the skin. Occasionally, the skin gets its color back.
Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) die or stop producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. The involved patches of skin become lighter or white. It’s unclear exactly what causes these pigment cells to fail or die. It may be related to:
- A disorder of the immune system (autoimmune condition)
- Family history (heredity)
- A trigger event, such as stress, severe sunburn or skin trauma, such as contact with a chemical
Dr. Alpna Thakur is a trained dermatologist and aesthetician with over a decade of experience in handling dermatological patients. She is expert in dealing with cases concerning Dermatology, Pediatric dermatology, Trichology and Aesthetics. With both national and international publications, she believes in personalized treatment for every patient and is an ardent advocate of patient education.
Area of Expertise
- Dermatology – diseases of skin, hair and nails for both adults and children.
- Cosmetology – anti ageing, scar reduction, hair reduction, rejuvenation, blemish and mole removal, tattoo removal