What is Vitiligo?
vitiligo is a skin disease that causes patches of colorless skin to form on the body. It is caused by a disorder of pigment cells. It is inherited. If someone in your family has vitiligo, you can develop the condition. Treatments for vitiligo are available.
Treatments for vitiligo
Several treatments are available for vitiligo, including light therapy, repigmentation therapy, and oral immunosuppressant drugs. Although the disease is not life-threatening, it can cause social and psychological stress and is often accompanied by depression and suicidal ideation. The goal of treatment is to prevent relapses and to treat the symptoms.
In many cases, conventional therapies such as phototherapy and repigmentation therapy can achieve partial repigmentation in individual lesions. However, many patients will experience further depigmentation within a year. In order to prevent further repigmentation, treatment may include depigmentation of unaffected skin for patients with extensive vitiligo.
A melanocyte transplant is another treatment option. A sample of pigmented skin is removed from the patient’s body, and melanocytes are then transferred to the depigmented area. The cells repigment up to one centimeter of the skin, restoring color.
Another treatment option is a split-thickness skin graft. This type of graft is usually taken from less important areas of the body and can be used for stable recalcitrant vitiligo. However, this method has the potential for post-inflammatory changes, which can affect healing. This procedure is not generally recommended for children under the age of 10 or adults with little pigment remaining.
Other treatment options for vitiligo include corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors. These medications modify the immune system, which helps the melanocytes regrow. They are commonly prescribed as maintenance therapy. While this type of medication can be beneficial for people with recalcitrant vitiligo, it can also cause side effects, such as stretch marks and striae.
The FDA has approved a drug called monobenzone (Benoquin) to treat vitiligo. Benoquin is a topical cream that is applied two or three times a day to pigmented patches. This treatment is effective in reducing the amount of pigment in vitiligo, and the results are temporary. The side effects of the drug include mild temporary skin irritation and increased sensitivity to sunlight. In some cases, a person will experience permanent light sensitivity after taking the medication.
Phototherapy, a treatment that uses ultraviolet light, is a common method of treating vitiligo. Approximately 65 to 75 percent of vitiligo patients have successful repigmentation with phototherapy. In addition, phototherapy is sometimes combined with a stronger topical steroid cream.
In some cases, a person with recalcitrant vitiligo will require a surgical procedure. The University of Massachusetts offers cell transplant surgery for these patients. This option is more likely to be successful in segmental vitiligo than in generalized vitiligo.
In addition to these conventional treatment methods, researchers are investigating melanocyte transplantation. This technique involves grafting a patient’s pigmented skin into a depigmented area. These types of transplants are not used for rapidly spreading vitiligo, and they typically take several months to show results.
Other treatments for vitiligo include topical corticosteroids and JAK inhibitors. These medicines work by inhibiting the production of the JAK protein, which causes the immune system to attack melanocytes. This reduces the level of inflammatory chemicals, which allows the melanocytes to regrow.
Inheritance of vitiligo
vitiligo is a pigmentary skin disease caused by the destruction of melanocytes in the epidermis of the skin. It affects people of all ages and races. It can occur on any part of the body, and it can be generalized or segmental. Typical areas affected by vitiligo include the feet, hands, and face. It can also occur on mucous membranes, including those in the mouth and inner ear.
Many studies have investigated the genetics of vitiligo, and researchers have found that vitiligo can run in families. In fact, approximately 20 percent of patients have a family history of vitiligo. The genetic risk for vitiligo is believed to be polygenic, and it is influenced by environmental factors as well. Some of the most common environmental triggers are sunburn, physical trauma, and stress. The disease is also associated with infections and pregnancy.
Research has shown that the HLA system has a role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. In an Argentine study, researchers performed a genomewide scan of 20 families with SLE. They found that the ACE gene, located on chromosome 17, was associated with vitiligo. Other susceptibility genes for vitiligo have been identified, and several have been linked to autoimmune diseases. These discoveries could lead to a better understanding of vitiligo and novel therapeutic targets that could prevent other autoimmune diseases.
A study of vitiligo genes has found that the XBP1 gene, which encodes a transcription factor, may be involved. The XBP1 gene is located on chromosome 22q12 and is recognized by an X2 promoter element on the human DR-A. It is unclear whether the XBP1 gene is a good candidate for vitiligo, but further study is warranted.
Another candidate gene for vitiligo is the NALP1 gene, which encodes NACHT leucine-rich repeat protein-1. This gene is a known autoimmune target, and people who are prone to vitiligo are often heterozygous for the NALP1 variant. Those who are homozygous for the NALP1 gene are likely to develop an extended autoimmune phenotype. Compared to individuals who are asymptomatic, those with vitiligo are at greater risk for developing other autoimmune diseases. In addition to the NALP1 gene, researchers have discovered that the AIS2 and AIS3 loci, located on chromosomes 7, 8, and 9, are also linked to vitiligo.
In another study, researchers conducted a genome-wide linkage analysis. This type of analysis identifies susceptibility genes by scanning the entire human genome. It was found that the AIS2 and AIS3 genes were on chromosomes 7 and 8, and the ACE gene was on chromosome 17. In another study, researchers looked at the IL13-1112C and gt; T polymorphisms, which are associated with allergic inflammation. The IL13-1112C polymorphism is a common variant of the gene and is often found in patients with vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases.
Finally, a functional candidate gene association study found that a number of candidate genes were related to vitiligo. These genes were selected based on their prior biological functions.
Symptoms of vitiligo
Symptoms of vitiligo include the loss of skin color in patches on the body. The condition is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks cells that produce pigment. The disease affects people of all races and ages. While the most common areas to develop vitiligo are the wrists, toes, fingers, and feet, it can occur anywhere on the body.
Several factors can increase the risk of vitiligo. These factors include hyperthyroidism, Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, and a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Some people with vitiligo also have an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or an autoimmune eye condition called uveitis.
The most obvious symptom of vitiligo is the loss of skin color. White patches appear in any area that is exposed to the sun. This may happen in the groin, armpits, or around the belly button. In some cases, the edges of the patch can become red and inflamed.
In addition to losing pigment, a person with vitiligo may experience premature graying of hair. The hair can also turn white in the affected area. The person’s vision may be affected, but the condition is usually stable.
The cause of vitiligo is still not fully understood. It is thought that the immune system mistakenly destroys the pigment cells, known as melanocytes. The condition is not contagious. If you notice any changes to your skin, you should consult a dermatologist to determine if you have vitiligo. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, you can ask your doctor to perform a skin biopsy.
The biopsy will confirm the presence of melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells. If you are diagnosed with vitiligo, you can start treatment. The main goal of treatment is to restore your skin’s pigment. There are treatments available to help, including topical creams, corticosteroid creams, and other medications.
If you have vitiligo, you may be worried about your appearance. Some people have small patches of white skin, while others have large, whitish patches. The size of the patches is determined by the type of vitiligo you have. If you are concerned about your appearance, you can choose cosmetics and colors that match your skin tone.
However, you should be aware that cosmetics can camouflage the patches. If the patches are not visible, you may want to cover the areas with clothing that is shaded from the sun. You should also use sunscreen on your skin to avoid sensitivity to ultraviolet rays.
The most common type of vitiligo is non-segmental vitiligo. This is the most common form of the condition and is often the first sign that you have it. It usually starts on your hands, wrists, or face, and progresses to other areas of the body. It is not a life-threatening condition, and most people who have it do not have any other health problems.
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