This is an unappealing yet harmless skin disorder characterised by
white patches of skin that have seemingly lost their ability to produce the normal colour
of the skin.
What to look for
Usually this disorder occurs before the age
of 20. It can come and go or lay dormant for year. It is usually stress
The onset of the loss of pigmentation
varies in different people, one person may lose all their pigmentation, while another may
only have a few spots of lost colour.
Vitiligo is not dangerous, but it is
sometimes linked with other diseases or disorders such as thyroid
problems, pernicious anaemia, Addison's disease (decreased
adrenal gland function), and alopecia areata (hair loss in
It is not known what causes vitiligo,
although it is suspected that it is hereditary. Emotional stress may the onset of
In essence what happens in the body is that
the cells stop producing melanin which gives the skin and hair its colour. There are
several possibilities one is that this is an autoimmune disease in which the cells attack
their own cells, perceiving them as foreign. The problem can cause distress and
embarrassment and can affect peoples self esteem.
There are treatments you can receive from
your doctor that can draw the pigment to the cells.
The doctors can try to help the normal
pigmentation or to depigment the rest of the body so that it matches. The options are
available for you to discuss with your doctor.
Certain Homoeopathic treatments have
often had very good results.
Some positive results from the use of the
substance - Para Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA).
Some experts say that vitiligo may be the
result of a copper deficiency.
When to seek further