World Vitiligo Day on june 25 points out a global awareness about vitiligo and also remebrance of death anniversary of old pop legend Michael Jackson who was vitiligo patient. The idea of a World Vitiligo Day was first introduced by Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo Friends network, and then developed and finalized by Ogo Maduewesi, a Nigerian vitiligo patient who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF).
As a cosmetic surgeon I had seen that most of the patients approached me are vitiligo patients. The disease can be spreads in any gender, race and age, but except universal form of vitiligo most people are affected from this disease after the age of 35 or 40. I think that vitiligo is one of the skin problems that affect the confidence of a person. The term vitiligo was first used by a roman physician named Celsus of the 1st century AD and this word is derived from the Latin word Vitilus which means a calf . It can affected at any location on the body. The skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of the skin, hair and eyes. Estimated 40 to 50 million of population (1-2%) around the globe are suffering from the disease. Vitiligo disease is due to a progressive loss of melanin, the pigment that determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes because of this reason white patches of skin will appear on different parts of the body. Mainly the skin - tissues that line the inside of the mouth, nose, the genital areas, the rectal areas and the retina of the eyes are destroyed. Vitiligo is usually slowly progressive.
The main autoimmune disease symptoms are the following.The main one is loss of pigment in skin. Almost 95% of the symptoms of Vitiligo will be visible before 40th birthday of a Vitiligo patient. Vitiligo is most seen in the first and second decade of a human’s life span. Classical vitiligo may begin anytime after birth and often appears as a white spot without other symptoms on a background of normally pigmented skin. Vitiligo often involves the genitalia and is predisposed to appear in areas of previous skin trauma.
The exact cause of Vitiligo is not known yet. A number of theories exist.The widely accepted view is that Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorders, i.e. one in which the person’s immune system attacks the organs and tissues of the body.
Some environmental factors interact with genes that are inherited that lead to a tendency to induce the destruction melanocytes.
Vitiligo can be happened in some individuals because of topical exposure to certain phenol-like chemicals.
Heredity may be a factor since Vitiligo runs in certain families. However, only 5 to 7 percent of children will get Vitiligo even if a parent has it.
Vitiligo appears in one of the three patterns:
1) De pigmentation is limited to one or only few areas usually called focal pattern
2) De pigmentation develops on only one side of the body usually called segmental pattern
3) De pigmentation develops on different parts of the body usually called generalized pattern
It includes Autologous skin Grafts, Punch Grafts, Autologous Melanocyte transplantation.
If the de-pigmented patch does not increase in size for a period of two years, it is said to be stable. It is the right time to perform vitiligo surgery. Vitiligo surgical treatment consider for the patients having the following facts,
* Vitiligo has not changed over a period of one year.
* Failed medical line of treatment.
* No New hypopigmented patches should develop in this one year period.
* All wound should heal with normal pigmentation.