Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder expressed in the disappearance of the melanin pigment in certain areas of the skin. It occurs on the skin, presumably as a result of the action of certain medicinal and chemical substances, neuro-trophic, neuroendocrine and autoimmune factors of melanogenesis, as well as after inflammatory and necrotic processes on the skin. A predisposition to vitiligo may be inherited. The nature of the disease is not fully understood.
It can begin at any age, but more often at a young age, with the appearance of white spots of various sizes and shapes on unchanged skin. The spots gradually increase in size, merge, forming vast areas of white-milky color. The hair in the affected areas is often also discolored. Foci of vitiligo can occur anywhere on the skin, but most often on the hands, elbows, knees - where the skin is most injured.
Vitiligo patients have no subjective sensations, and it only bothers the patient as a cosmetic defect. Individual spots may spontaneously disappear. The patient should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, as white spots are more visible on tanned skin, and areas that are not protected by pigment “burn” very quickly to blisters.
Of great importance in the development of vitiligo are stressful conditions, chronic diseases of internal organs, intoxication, skin contact with some synthetic tissues, and physical trauma. A number of chemical industries, especially those associated with phenol derivatives (paints, rubber, cable products), also provoke vitiligo, which in such cases is most often reversible. That is, the skin itself restores pigment, as soon as a person changes jobs.
Reliable methods of treating this disease have not yet been found. All therapeutic measures are aimed at preventing the appearance of new spots and reducing a cosmetic defect.
For the treatment of vitiligo, antioxidants are used - drugs that fight free radicals, immunomodulators - drugs that affect the immune system. In addition, strictly dosed ultraviolet irradiation of the skin is used: PUVA therapy, laser exposure, the most gentle and effective - narrow-band ultraviolet 311 nm. There are also methods of surgical treatment, when artificially grown melanocytes cells are planted in the center of vitiligo. Important: no matter how the pigment is returned to one or another focus of vitiligo, there is no guarantee against their repeated discoloration while maintaining the original reasons for the loss of pigment.