Vitiligo, also known as Leucoderma (white skin) or white leprosy, is an autoimmune disease in which the body immune system attacks healthy pigment cells called melanocytes, eventually affecting the whole body.
“The condition is characterized by white patches on the skin that appear as a result of the loss of melanocytes in the skin. These cells are responsible for producing skin pigment melanin, which gives your skin its color. When the melanocytes die, white spots are formed. Although Vitiligo is often considered to be one of the most common skin conditions, it is essential to dispel some popular misconceptions about it,” said Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist and Vitiligo Expert at Sir Ganga Hospital New Delhi rams.
So, without further ado, let’s begin the debunking process.
Myth 1: People with vitiligo have a lower level of mental or physical ability.
Fact 1: Vitiligo is a skin disease that only affects the skin. Accordingly, it has no effect or influence on other organs of the body, whether mental or physical.
Myth 2: Vitiligo is linked to cancer, albinism and leprosy.
Fact 2: Again, vitiligo is a skin disease; there is no connection between this and skin cancer, leprosy or albinism. It is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks and kills its own skin-staining cells, called melanocytes.
Myth 3: Eating a specific combination of foods can make vitiligo worse.
Fact 3: This statement is categorically false. There is no connection between food and vitiligo disease. In fact, it is a condition that is not affected by the foods you choose to eat.
Myth #4: Vitiligo can only affect the hands and face.
Fact 4: White or light spots caused by vitiligo are most common in sun-exposed areas such as the hands, feet, arms, lips and face. Plaques of this nature can appear in the armpits, eyes, genitals, navel and rectal areas under certain circumstances. Similarly, plaques may form on the mucous membrane as well as on the retina.
Myth 5: Vitiligo only affects people with dark complexion or dark skin.
Fact 5: Vitiligo is an independent complexion skin disease that can affect people of all skin tones, whether dark, fair or fair.
Myth 6: Vitiligo can be treated by putting different oils, using home remedies on the affected skin area and consuming particular vitamins.
Fact 6: No, applying home remedies or oils will not cure vitiligo. In fact, you are delaying the treatment process, which is not advisable at all. A certified dermatologist depending on your condition can guide you with a variety of treatments, including UV light therapy, surgical skin and cell transplants, tattooing and medication. Some people choose to conceal their skin with special cosmetics. Consult your doctor if you have vitiligo for any available or appropriate alternatives for treating skin color loss.
Myth 7: Vitiligo is transmissible and contagious.
Fact 7: Vitiligo is not an infectious or contagious disease. Therefore, there is no need to escape or avoid touching someone who is suffering from the same condition. Instead, you can use this information to help them challenge the prejudice and stigma they face on a daily basis. As vitiligo sufferers go through tremendous mental trauma, stress and the Depression.
Myth 8: Every white spot is vitiligo
Fact 8: No, a variety of factors can cause skin discoloration including: eczema, atopic dermatitis, fungal infection, Nevus Depigmentosus, Pityriasis Alba, Lichen Simplex Atrophicans, Post-burn depigmentation. Only a board-certified dermatologist can tell you if the white patch is vitiligo or another skin problem.
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