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?
NY Vitiligo Community Meeting in September
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, September 21st, at 7PM - 8:30PM on the 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Care Center at 240 East 38th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Av...21 September 2017 19:00, 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Car...
Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the US Capitol
Save-the-Date for the much anticipated Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the United States Capitol this fall. As many of you know, the Advocacy Committee of the Global Vitilig...04 October 2017 10:00, Washington, DC
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Vitiligo is NOT contagious. It cannot be passed on or caught from touching someone with vitiligo, shaking hands, swimming in the same pool, sharing towels, sitting nex...
How can I cure vitiligo?
There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are a number of effective treatment options that can be discussed with your GP or dermatologist. The aim of treatment is to st...
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