Vitiligo is an unusual condition that affects the dermis of people with all different types and hues of skin. While it only affects a small part of the population, many people are looking to learn more about this perplexing total loss of skin color in some areas. We’ve compiled an interesting list of ten vitiligo facts you might not know about whether you think you might be at risk for developing the condition, are just looking to take precautionary measures or, to help you with early identification.
1. Cause Conundrum: Vitiligo causes are still unknown, although there are some things that are thought to be possibilities. Some researchers think that genetics play a role, while others contend that autoimmune disorders might be to blame. Neural causes, viral causes and even stress have all been considered as potential sources of the condition. So far, however, a single cause cannot be pinpointed regardless of how many vitiligo facts are uncovered.
2. Manifestation Mystery: It’s not white patches on skin, even though it may look like it. It’s not on your skin, it is your skin, and it’s just missing color. While many people think at first that vitiligo is a growth, lesion or mark that sits atop the outermost dermal layer, it’s actually the same continual skin that covers the rest of you, it’s just devoid of color.
3. Area Apparent: Some areas more apparent than others, and one of the more interesting vitiligo facts that you may not know is that it doesn’t appear everywhere and in the same way. It’s more likely to end up on your face or hands or wrists, however when it gets close to the mouth and eyes or around the belly button or genitals it can become even more noticeable.
4. Tremendous Treatment: People go to great lengths to treat their condition. More common remedies include light therapy, tanning, creams and lotions and ointments or even skin grafting. However, some people go to such great lengths that they actually decide to lighten the entire rest of their skin to match the areas without color. It’s a very permanent solution and is likely to end your days of enjoying sunshine rather quickly.
5. Get some Ginkgo: While still unproven, early, small studies have suggested that taking ginkgo may help slow or even stop the spread of the condition. While it’s hard to add a ginkgo supplement to vitiligo facts considering its still unproven, what isn’t unproven is that there are a whole slew of alternative remedies such as anti vitiligo oil that many people have tried and ginkgo is the only one so far that is gaining any attention from the medical community.
6. Star Surprise: Vitiligo facts don’t get any more interesting than tying a celebrity to them. In 1986, Michael Jackson indicated that he was diagnosed with the condition. Later, amidst rumors of skin bleaching, he reiterated his statement concerning his condition in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
7. Symptom Shocker: Skin discoloration is not the only noticeable symptom of this dermal dilemma. You may also notice changes in hair color, and not just on your head. Facial hair and even your eyebrows can start to lighten or grey. Even the tissues that line your mouth may be affected and may lighten in color.
8. Food Fix: While the jury is still out as to the effectiveness of a vitiligo diet, there are some studies that suggest that a balanced diet that eliminates some foods that might aggravate the condition can be useful. The avoidance of turmeric, for example, has been suggested, as have those that contain compounds that are thought to interfere with the production of melanin, such as tea, cashews and cherries.
9. One size does not fit all: There is not only one kind of vitiligo and your treatment may vary depending on the type and location of your condition. Interesting vitiligo facts show a particularly unusual type for instance that only affects mucous membranes.
10. Determining a diagnosis: You may think that vitiligo is an easy condition to diagnose, however that is not the case. While your doctor may be able to take one look at you and know that you have the condition, the answer may not be as clear cut as you think, and you may have to have diagnostic testing done to confirm your suspicions.