Everything to Know About Vitiligo

There are many people afflicted with the skin condition called vitiligo. In fact, millions across the world have endured vitiligo at one point or another. Famous people such as Jon Hamm, Rasheed Wallace, Winnie Harlow, Michael Jackson, Joe Rogan, and Steve Martin have all had the skin condition at one point or another.

Aesthetically, it may appear to be a bit alarming. Skin on any part of the body can appear to be blotchy — and almost spotted. Essentially, the skin cells within the body suddenly stop producing color pigment. This causes sections of the skin to turn a whitish hue. Of course, this is less than ideal for those who are constantly outdoors. Vitiligo is said to lead to increased risks of both social and psychological stress.

While it may look shocking and somewhat scary, those afflicted with vitiligo must realize that it’s not life-threatening — nor is it contagious. This should put individuals at ease should they be faced with vitiligo.

Essentially, vitiligo targets the following areas: Face, arms, hands, feet, and lips. Additionally, another symptom could include premature graying of head hair/facial hair, and discoloration when it comes to armpit hair. Those dealing with vitiligo have increased risks of issues such as sunburn, skin cancer, and hearing loss.

Though there’s no actual cure for vitiligo, there are treatment methods made available. In terms of preventable measures, those with vitiligo should consistently lather up with water-resistant sunscreen (with an SPF of over 30). Interestingly enough, a tattoo could spark up other areas of vitiligo. Vitamin D gel/cream is used topically to help snuff out outbreaks. Additionally, there are medications one can use. From there, a more extreme measure includes getting laser therapy. Some have said that the light and laser therapy has worked well in bringing back color to the lightened areas.

Though skin discoloration may be embarrassing, one must know that vitiligo can be managed with the proper steps.

Image source: Mayo Clinic