World Vitiligo Day 2023: What is Vitiligo? Cause, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention & More

World Vitiligo Day 2023: World Vitiligo Day is celebrated annually on June 25, since 2011. The day commemorates the birth of the famous pop star Michael Jackson. He openly spoke about his struggle with vitiligo and took many different initiatives to educate people about this chronic skin disorder. Vitiligo Day aims to promote awareness, broaden support and advocate for rights and debunk myths.

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes areas of the skin to lose pigment or color. It occurs when melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment, attack and are destroyed, causing the skin to turn a milky white color. It affects people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds, and covers around 1% of the world’s population.

The different types of Vitiligo are:

  • widespread
  • Segmental
  • mucosal
  • Focal
  • trichome
  • Universal

What are the different causes of vitiligo?

According to the National Institute of Health, “Scientists believe that vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys melanocytes. Additionally, researchers continue to study how family history and genes may play a role in causing vitiligo. “Sometimes an event like a sunburn, emotional distress, or exposure to a chemical can trigger vitiligo or make it worse.”

Vitiligo appears to be more common in people who have a family history of the disorder or who suffer from certain autoimmune diseases, including:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes type 1

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

The first signs of vitiligo are usually small macules or white patches, which can then spread throughout the body. Depigmentation, often known as loss of natural color or pigment, is the main sign of vitiligo. The following are some additional typical symptoms:

  • Skin that has lost its color in patches and is usually paler on the extremities.
  • In regions where the skin loses color, the hair may turn white.
  • The mucous membranes inside the nose or mouth may become depigmented.
  • Uveitis, which means irritation or swelling of the eyes.
  • Inflammation in the ear.
  • Low self-esteem or poor self-image.

How to treat vitiligo?

There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are several treatment options available. Treatment for vitiligo is not necessary as the condition is not harmful to the body and is only cosmetic. Common treatments for vitiligo include:

  • Medicines
  • light therapy
  • Depigmentation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Advice
  • Immune mediators
  • skin camouflage

What are the preventive measures for vitiligo?

  • Protect your skin from the sun.
  • Wear breathable clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen every day inside or outside.
  • Avoid cuts, scrapes and burns.
  • Never use a tanning bed or sunlamp.
  • Support your immune system with a healthy lifestyle.
  • Take care of your mental health.
  • Show love and support to other vitiligo patients.
  • Don’t get a tattoo.

World Vitiligo Day serves as a global platform to raise awareness, encourage acceptance and support people living with vitiligo. This day empowers those affected to embrace their uniqueness and advocates for a world that celebrates diversity and inclusion by encouraging education, promoting research and challenging social stigmas. It acts as a gentle reminder that regardless of skin tone or appearance, everyone deserves respect, acceptance and equal opportunity.

Important days and dates in June 2023

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