Vitiligo is what it is, why it occurs, symptoms and treatment

Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by pigmentation of certain areas of the skin. The causes of this disease are still unknown.

The cause of the disease is still not fully understood. Patients often associate the onset of vitiligo with specific triggers: physical trauma, illness, sunburn, emotional stress, pregnancy.

However, there is no verified data that would indicate a clear relationship between these conditions. There are now several theories of vitiligo:

  1. Genetic. Up to 50% of people with vitiligo have relatives who also have the disease.
  2. Autoimmune. Patients with vitiligo have an increased incidence of concomitant autoimmune diseases, such as: autoimmune thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis.
  3. Due to the high frequency of autoimmune thyroid disease, patients with vitiligo should be examined for the level of antithyroid antibodies and assess the functional status of the thyroid gland.
  4. Theory of oxidative stress of melanocytes.
  5. Viral.
  6. Nervous.
  7. Theory of mechanical detachment of melanocytes.

How to detect vitiligo

Diagnosis is based on examination. However, in some cases, it is necessary to conduct an examination under a Wood’s lamp and dermatoscopy to accurately verify the diagnosis. Sometimes, for differential diagnosis it is necessary to resort to a biopsy.

Vitiligo treatment

The goal of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease and restore pigmentation of discolored areas of the skin. However, the response to therapy may be different in different patients.

Therapy is divided into the treatment of the active process and treatment aimed at restoring pigmentation while stabilizing the condition.

During progression, low doses of oral corticosteroids should be used in combination with narrow-wave phototherapy.

At stabilization of process, therapy is selected depending on volume of defeat of a skin cover.
These can be topical steroid ointments of high or medium activity. Topical calcineurin inhibitors are recommended for the face.

Vitiligo surgical therapy has been used successfully for over 25 years. Transplantation of skin, hair follicles or suspensions of melanocytes with keratinocytes into depigmentation foci is used.