How long has the history of vitiligo been known?
In summary, around 4000 years of known history elapsed from the time man became aware of vitiligo, white spots on the skin, until the melanocyte was finally identified as the responsible actor for depigmentation and other pigmentary disorders.
Is the vitiligo disease a cosmetic or medical disorder?
Contrary to popular belief, vitiligo is not a cosmetic disorder but a systemic disease affecting the largest body organ and other vital systems. Vitiligo is a life-long condition and it’s unlikely that one will ever be completely free of it.
What happens to the cells when vitiligo develops?
Vitiligo develops when cells called melanocytes die. These cells give our skin and hair color. Scientists do not completely understand why these cells die. One type of vitiligo, non-segmental vitiligo, may be an autoimmune disease.
How old do you have to be to get vitiligo?
Nearly half get it before they reach 21 years of age. Most will have vitiligo for the rest of their lives. It is very rare for vitiligo to disappear. The patch of white hair near this 22-year-old man’s part is caused by vitiligo.
Can vitiligo kill you?
Vitiligo can’t kill. It doesn’t cause physical pain or hurt the person who has it (other than emotional stress due to coping with its appearance). I’ve heard that thyroid problems are common in people with vitiligo. For more about that, there’s tons of info. under the FAQ section of this site.
How does vitiligo start?
Vitiligo is a long-term condition that causes pale, white patches to develop on the skin due to lack of a chemical called melanin. Vitiligo can start at any age, vitiligo often first appears between the ages of 20 and 30. The white patches may begin on your face above your eyes or on your neck, armpits, elbows, genitalia, hands or knees.
Can Caucasians get vitiligo?
The disease affects different parts of the body including hair, inside of mouth, and eyes in some people. Vitiligo affects people of all races, even Caucasians, but skin discoloration is more visible among persons with darker skin tones.