Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes white patches to develop on the skin. The areas that are affected have little or no melanin. Melanin is a dye-like substance that is produced by specialised skin cells called melanocytes. This gives the skin its colour and protects it from the sun's rays.
Where does vitiligo occur?
Vitiligo can affect any area of your skin, but it most commonly occurs on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun, such as your face, neck and hands.
Vitiligo is more noticeable in people whose skin is dark or tanned. The condition varies from person to person and for some people, they only get a few small, white patches while other people get bigger white patches. These white patches are usually permanent.
How common is vitiligo?
It is estimated that about 1 in 100 people develop vitiligo. It usually starts to appear at around 20 years of age, although it can occur at any age. Men and women are both equally affected, as are people of different ethnicities.
It is not clear what causes vitiligo. It is not infectious and you cannot catch it from contact with someone who has it. The white patches caused by vitiligo are usually permanent, although there are treatment options to improve the appearance of your skin.
Combination treatments, such as phototherapy and medication, give the best results. In some cases, treatment may restore the pigment to your patches but the effect does not usually last.
At the Claudia McGloin Clinic, we use Platelet Rich Plasma to treat vitiligo. Other options are camouflage make up and concealers to cover up the white patches, and it can help you live a normal life.
For more information on vitiligo and procedures we offer, please visit the clinic website www.claudiamcgloinclinic.com or call the clinic direct on 0719140728