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Vitiligo is a skin disorder where there is rapid loss of pigmentation making the skin look pale and white in color. Melanocytes produce melanin, a pigment responsible for producing the characteristic skin color in humans. A rapid destruction or inefficiency of these cells can cause the occurrence of white spots, which slowly spread to the rest of the body.
It is a type of autoimmune disorder where the body starts recognizing melanocytes as a foreign substance. As a natural defense mechanism, the body immediately starts producing antibodies to fight and destroy melanocytes. Scientists have not been able to decipher or understand why the body suddenly reacts in this manner.
This leads to the formation of white patches in different areas of the skin. It can affect the necks, eyes, face and armpits before spreading to the rest of the body. Getting timely treatment and preventing further destruction of melanocytes can halt or decrease the formation of white patches.
If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, adrenocortical insufficiency, pernicious anemia or alopecia areata, you can be easily susceptible to vitiligo. It can be hereditary too. It is not contagious though. Any sudden injury or rash on the skin surface can also lead to destruction of melanocytes causing the area to look white and pale. Sunburn and accidents, which directly affect the skin, can also lead to vitiligo.
There are numerous treatments available these days. Vitiligo does not have any other harmful effects on the body mentally or physically. Taking extra precaution and care, using sunscreens to protect the skin from harmful sunrays are useful.
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