Vitiligo is a skin condition in which patches of skin loses their color. The total area of skin that can be affected by vitiligo varies between individuals. It can also affect the eyes, the inside of mouth, and the hair. In most cases, the affected areas remain discolored for the rest of the person’s life.
The condition is photosensitive. This means that the areas that are affected will be more sensitive to sunlight than those that are not. It is hard to predict whether the patches will spread, and by how much. The spread might take weeks, or the patches might remain stable for months or years.
The lighter patches tend to be more visible in people with dark or tanned skin.
The only symptom of vitiligo is the appearance of flat white spots or patches on the skin. The first white spot that becomes noticeable is often in an area that tends to be exposed to the sun.
It starts as a simple spot, a little paler than the rest of the skin, but as time passes, this spot becomes paler until it turns white.
The patches are irregular in shape. At times, the edges can become a little inflamed with a slight red tone, sometimes resulting in itchiness. Normally, however, it does not cause any discomfort, irritation, soreness, or dryness in the skin.
The effects of vitiligo vary between people. Some people may have only a handful of white dots that develop no further, while others develop larger white patches that join together and affect larger areas of skin.
There are two types of vitiligo, non-segmental and segmental.
1.Non-segmental vitiligo – If the first white patches are symmetrical, this suggests a type of vitiligo known as non-segmental vitiligo. The development will be slower than if the patches are in only one area of the body. Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common type, accounting for up to 90 percent of cases.
The patches often appear equally on both sides of the body, with some measure of symmetry. They often appear on skin that is commonly exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. Common areas include: backs of the hands, arms, eyes, knees, elbows, feet, mouth, armpit and groin, nose, navel, genitals and rectal area
Non-segmental vitiligo is further broken down into sub-categories: Generalized: There is no specific area or size of patches. This is the most common type. Acrofacial: This occurs mostly on the fingers or toes. Mucosal: This appears mostly around the mucous membranes and lips.
Universal: Depigmentation covers most of the body. This is very rare. Focal: One, or a few, scattered white patches develop in a discrete area. It most often occurs in young children.
2.Segmental vitiligo – Segmental vitiligo spreads more rapidly but is considered more constant and stable and less erratic than the non-segmental type. It is much less common and affects only about 10 percent of people with vitiligo. It is non-symetrical. It is more noticeable in early age groups, affecting about 30 percent of children diagnosed with vitiligo. Segmental vitiligo usually affects areas of skin attached to nerves arising in the dorsal roots of the spine. It responds well to topical treatments.
Natural vitiligo prevention
According to Vitiligo Support International, people with this genetic condition may lack healthy levels of certain nutrients. However, there’s no evidence that eating certain foods could improve or worsen your vitiligo. Despite this lack of evidence, some people claim to have success with a variety of at-home treatments. Popular topical home remedies include:
1.mixture of lemon and sweet basil extract
2.ginkgo biloba paste
3.a mixture of turmeric and mustard oil
Diet for vitiligo prevention
While there’s no officially prescribed “vitiligo diet,” the best nutritional steps that you can take include eating a healthy diet full of good nutrients and drinking lots of water. And, as with any autoimmune disorder, you may benefit from immune system-boosting foods that contain phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and antioxidants.
Here are some foods that people with vitiligo have cited as helpful for their condition: bananas, apples, leafy greens, such as kale or romaine lettuce, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, root vegetables, especially beets, carrots, and radishes, figs and dates
Vitiligo diet restrictions
Just as there is no prescribed diet for vitiligo, there are no medically recognized foods that worsen the condition, either. However, anecdotal evidence shows that some people experience a negative reaction when they eat certain foods, especially those that contain the depigmenting agents hydroquinones. Everyone’s body is different and may react differently to certain foods.
Here are some of the top problem foods for people with vitiligo: alcohol, blueberries, citrus, coffee, curds, fish, fruit juice, gooseberries, grapes, pickles, pomegranate, pears, red meats, tomatoes, wheat products.
Vitamins for vitiligo prevention and treatment
Some vitiligo patients have reported that certain substances, like vitamins and herbs, have appeared to lessen the discoloration of their skin. These substances have not been deemed medically effective as treatments for vitiligo and are only supported by anecdotal evidence: vitamin B-12, or folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, beta carotene, ginkgo biloba, amino acids, enzymes
Some minerals have also been cited as helpful for preventing vitiligo recurrence, including:
1.Copper– Many people get a healthy amount of copper by drinking a glass of water out of a copper cup.
2.Iron– Many people get a healthy amount of iron by eating food that was cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
3.Zinc– Because many zinc-rich foods are on the restricted list of foods for vitiligo, you may wish to simply ingest you zinc via a supplement.
Vitiligo is often a lifelong condition. Although it can’t be cured, there are measure you can take to potentially treat it and prevent it from worsening, including eating a healthy diet. You should see your dermatologist for expert advice on how your skin will react to vitiligo.