Vitiligo is a skin condition that destructs the melanocytes; which are pigment cells.
The condition causes depigmentation of the skin resulting in noticeable white spots on a person’s skin.
The white patches appear because the person has little or no skin cells. It is most commonly observed on the face, neck, arms and skin creases.
Although vitiligo affects all races, its presence is pronounce among people with dark or brown complexion. About two percent of the world’s population has vitiligo.
All the same, it is impossible to predict how much of the skin can be affected by Vitiligo and it is not life threatening.
World Vitiligo Day is an annual event specially dedicated to people with Vitiligo on 25 June every year.
The global event is to create awareness about the skin condition.
Living with vitiligo in Ghana can be very solitary and traumatising.
Medical research has not found a particular cause for this autoimmune disorder but both genetic and environmental factors can lead to the worsening of this condition.
There are certain triggers that are associated with Vitiligo and it includes:
UV radiations that come from sun, tanning bed, wielding torches, mercury lamps, exposure to certain chemicals and stress.
There are risk factors associated with this disorder. These include inflammation in the iris, loss of hearing and sunburn.
Vitiligo commonly manifests in people in their twenties; however, it can occur in any stage and there are symptoms of vitiligo that are categorised on the basis of segmentation.
Symptoms, in this case, appear on both sides of your body as symmetrical white patches. Areas affected by non-segmental vitiligo include back of your hands, arms, skin around body, openings/creases, feet, elbows and knees.
Treatment of vitiligo can vary depending on the kind of treatment the specialist finds suitable, the vastitude (number of patches and how prevalent they are) of the condition and the patient’s outlook.
Most common medical treatments include: medicated creams and ointments for skin, oral medicines, medicine and phototherapy as a combined treatment, surgical treatments like â€“ skin grafts and tattooing small areas of skin.