What causes vitiligo?
The precise cause of vitiligo is not well understood. The white areas appear due to loss of the pigment (melanin) that gives skin its color and protects it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Factors such as stress, physical illness, skin damage, certain chemicals and drugs, pregnancy and severe sunburn may trigger or worsen vitiligo.
It remains unclear what causes damage to melanocytes and their subsequent total inactivation and/or disappearance in vitiligo skin. There are several theories; the most prominent are autoimmune, neurohumoral, related to abnormal detachment of melanocytes from the epidermal layers and autocytotoxic. None are mutually exclusive, and it is likely that each of them partially contribute to the disease development.
The current thought is that vitiligo represents a group of different disorders with a similar outcome: the appearance of white patches on the skin.
The convergence theory states that stress, accumulation of toxic compounds, infections, autoimmunity, genetic predisposition, altered cellular environment, and impaired melanocyte migration can all contribute to the vitiligo initiation process. Autoimmune mechanisms are likely to underlie generalized vitiligo, while a more localized phenomenon (i.e. the altered activities of sensitive nerves in the skin) may be responsible for segmental or focal vitiligo. A site of a skin physical trauma may develop vitiligo; it is called a “Koebner phenomenon.”
Abstract from Vitiligo Q&A »»»
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What is coming?
New York Vitiligo Community Meeting
Our next meeting will be after the World Vitiligo Day conference in Detroit on Thursday, July 20th, 2017, at 7PM - 8:30PM on the 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Care Ce...20 July 2017 19:00, 240 East 38th Street, New York, NY
Master Class On Vitiligo In Pediatric Age
will be held alongside “International Forum on Paediatric Dermatology”, which will take place in Rome (Italy), on October 5-7, 2017. This is an exciting opportunity t...06 October 2017 09:00, P.zza Giovanni Randaccio, 1 - Rome...
What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo (pronounced vit-ill-EYE-go) is a relatively common skin disease characterized by smooth, white, painless spots or patches on various parts of the body. It doe...
I have a new job - should I tell colleagues about my vitiligo?
If you are starting a new job and you are concerned about stares and questions about your skin, try a proactive approach. When the time is right and you are feeling co...
Will it spread?
The condition varies from person to person. Some people only get a few small, white patches that progress no further. Other people get bigger white patches that join u...
Polypodium leucotomos as an adjunct treatment for vitiligo?
Extracts of the tropical fern Polypodium leucotomos appear to possess beneficial properties for the vitiligious skin. Polypodium leucotomos (also classified as Polypo...