Vitiligo, also known as Leucoderma (white skin) or white leprosy, is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy pigmentary cells called melanocytes, eventually affecting the entire body.
“The condition is characterised by white spots on the skin that appear as a result of the loss of melanocytes within the skin. These cells are in charge of producing the skin pigment melanin, which gives your skin its colour. When the melanocytes die, white patches form. While vitiligo is often regarded as one of the most frequent skin conditions, it is critical to dispel some popular misconceptions about it,” said Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist and Vitiligo Expert at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
So, without further ado, let’s begin the debunking process.
Myth 1: People with vitiligo have a lower level of mental or physical ability.
Fact 1: Vitiligo is a skin disease that affects only the skin. As a result, it has no effect or influence on any other body organs, whether mental or physical.
Myth 2: Vitiligo is linked to cancer, albinism, and leprosy.
Fact 2: Again, vitiligo is a skin illness; there is no link between it and skin cancer, leprosy, or albinism. It is an autoimmune illness in which a person’s immune system attacks and kills his or her own skin-coloring cells, called melanocytes.
Myth 3: Eating a specific combination of foods can make vitiligo worse.
Fact 3: This statement is categorically wrong. There is no link between food and Vitiligo disease. In fact, it’s a condition that is unaffected by the foods you choose to eat.
Myth #4: Vitiligo can only affect the hands and face.
Fact 4: Vitiligo-caused white or light patches are more common in sun-exposed areas such as the hands, feet, arms, lips, and face. Patches of this nature can appear in the armpits, eyes, genitals, navel, and rectal areas in some circumstances. Similarly, patches may form on the mucous membrane as well as the retina.
Myth 5: Vitiligo only affects those with a dark complexion or dark skin.
Fact 5: Vitiligo is a complexion-independent skin illness that can affect people of all skin tones, whether they are dark, pale, or fair.
Myth 6: Vitiligo can be treated by putting different oils, using home remedies on the affected skin area and consuming particular vitamins.
Fact 6: No, applying home remedies or oils will not treat Vitiligo. Infact, you are delaying the treatment process which is not at all advisable. A certified dermatologist as per your condition can guide you with a variety of treatments, including UV light therapy, surgical skin and cellular grafts, tattooing, and medicines. Some people choose to just conceal their skin with special cosmetics. Consult your doctor if you have Vitiligo to learn about all of the alternatives available or appropriate for treating skin colour loss.
Myth 7: Vitiligo is communicable and infectious.
Fact 7: Vitiligo is not an infectious or contagious disease. As a result, there’s no need to escape or avoid touch with someone who is suffering from the same condition. Rather, you can use this information to assist them in combating the bias and stigma that they face on a daily basis. As people suffering from Vitiligo, go through huge mental trauma, stress and depression.
Myth 8: Every white patch is vitiligo
Fact 8: No, a variety of factors can cause skin discolouration, including: Eczema, atopic dermatitis, fungal infection, Nevus Depigmentosus, Pityriasis Alba, Lichen Simplex Atrophicans, Post burn depigmentation. Only a board certified dermatologist can tell you whether the white patch is Vitiligo or some other skin issue.
📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.