VITILIGO – Causes and symptoms

Vitiligo is pigment disease and it is characterized by loss of the skin color. It begins with the appearance of white patches on the skin and mucous membranes, which can occur at any time of life. It occurs in all skin types, in all age groups, with equal representation for men and women and also IS NOT an infectious disease.

VITILIGO - Causes and symptoms2


There are several theories about the appearance of vitiligo. In most cases there is a genetic predisposition, ie already present in a closer or distant family member. The main cause of vitiligo is still being investigated, whether it is from autoimmune nature, oxidative stress and / or neurogenic cause. It is not caused by inadequate medical care. Patients usually give a history of previous provoking factors like stress, endocrine disease, infection and trauma. Changes with vitiligo are very rare but still it can be accompanied by a subjective feeling of itching. Patients have a risk of burns when they are exposed to sunlight. It can start with the appearance of a white spot or on more locations of the body. It mostly occurs around the eyes, on the edge of the lips, around the navel, around the areola of breast, armpits, genitals, groin, knees and elbows.


The appearance of discrete white spots that are surrounded by normal skin color without pain, but with little feeling of itching, are the main symptoms of vitiligo. Dermatologist confirms the diagnosis. The diagnosis is usually made by clinical examination and by using a special lamp, which emits ultraviolet light (365 nm), which makes changes to be milky white. It is usually seen in spring and summer on places of the body that are exposed to sunlight, where normal skin tans while vitiligo lesions remain white or tend to immediately burn from the sun. Besides clinical examination of the whole body, basic laboratory investigations and extended investigations are needed (thyroid hormone status, antinuclear antibodies).

VITILIGO - Causes and symptoms


Vitiligo is a disorder that can be treated, but there are different treatment approaches. The progression of vitiligo in 90 percent can be stopped with adequate therapy or combining different therapies. More than 75 percent of patients are satisfied with their treatment (medical or surgical)

It is not true that nothing can be done about vitiligo. The first step is to choose the most suitable, less harmful and not too expensive method. Your doctor will start with the use of corticosteroid therapy.

If the first treatment does not give the desired results, secondary therapy takes place, which consists of phototherapy. Then the treatment continues with targeted phototherapy with 308 nm monochromatic laser “Excimer”. The last step is surgery, or skin transplantation.

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