What Is The Root Cause Of Vitiligo – The exact causes of vitiligo in children are not known. This chronic condition causes a loss of skin pigment (melanin), resulting in white patches on the skin. Hair and oral cavity may also have discoloration. These long-lasting stains can cause psychosocial problems in some children, especially teenagers. Adequate awareness and support from parents is essential to overcome low self-esteem issues (1).
A joint study by scientists from the US and France shows that about 1.52% of children and 2.16% of teenagers in the US have vitiligo. However, vitiligo is not contagious and does not spread from one person to another. The condition does not affect children’s intelligence or other skills and abilities. Read on to learn more about the causes, types, and treatments for vitiligo in children.
- 1 What Is The Root Cause Of Vitiligo
- 2 Types Of Vitiligo Treatments
- 3 Vitiligo: A Focus On Pathogenesis And Its Therapeutic Implications
- 4 Vitiligo: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment |
What Is The Root Cause Of Vitiligo
Dysfunction or death of melanin-producing cells results in loss of skin pigmentation in the body. Melanin is a pigment produced by cells called melanocytes. The exact cause of melanocyte dysfunction has not yet been discovered. It may be due to:
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X Chronic, long-term disease where skin cells build up to form itchy, scaly patches, thyroid problems, Addison’s disease
XA A condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones, leading to muscle weakness, fatigue and loss of appetite and type 1 diabetes (1).
Depigmented skin patches are the main symptom of vitiligo. It can affect any part of the body, especially areas exposed to the sun. The spots can be of different sizes. Following are the symptoms of vitiligo:
Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common form and is characterized by the appearance of white patches on both sides of the body. It is also known as bilateral vitiligo, vitiligo vulgaris and generalized vitiligo.
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The color changes on the skin, usually starting on the arms, around the eyes or mouth, and on the legs. In some cases, it starts in areas where the skin rubs frequently. You may notice that the loss of color is more noticeable and spreads to more parts of the body over time with nonsegmental vitiligo.
Segmental vitiligo is also called unilateral vitiligo. It usually starts at a younger age than non-segmental vitiligo. It can include a body segment, such as a leg or an arm. 50% of cases are associated with changes in the color of the hair, eyebrows or eyelashes – a condition called polyosis (4).
If there is a small isolated patch that does not evolve into non-segmental vitiligo over two years, it is known as focal vitiligo (3).
A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose the condition by visually examining the white patches on the skin. They will use a specialized lamp called a Wood’s lamp to detect paler skin. Parents may be asked about the presence of the disease in the family or whether the child has a history of other autoimmune diseases.
Types Of Vitiligo Treatments
Vitiligo treatment may involve one or more methods. Although there is no approved permanent cure for vitiligo, existing therapeutic options can help improve quality of life.
Topical treatments can help limit the involvement of the area if . There are three main categories of drugs used in the topical treatment of vitiligo, depending on the site of involvement:
Recent guidelines recommend topical calcineurin inhibitors as first-line treatment for face and neck patches and topical corticosteroids
XA group of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex that are used for treatment in synthetic form to reduce inflammation in other parts of the body. It has fewer side effects and is administered twice daily. Topical vitamin D is always used in combination with topical steroids for a better prognosis.
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X An immunomodulatory agent used to treat a skin condition called eczema may be prescribed for children with vitiligo. They work best for head and neck patches and can be used longer than corticosteroids (6).
Creams with a mineral complex are used as an adjunct to phototherapy. These creams can help reduce oxidative damage to pigment cells. Mineral complex creams may have side effects, but doctors can prescribe creams that do not cause complications.
Sun and UV protection should be recommended for all areas of the body, but more needed for areas of depigmentation or skin discoloration. You can use 2 sunscreen or sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and clothing. There is a misconception that sunlight helps treat vitiligo by producing more melanin, but exposure to sunlight can cause severe sunburn due to a lack of melanin synthesis, which protects us from the sun’s harmful rays.
According to several studies, vitamin D and B-complex supplementation may improve outcomes in patients with vitiligo. In childhood, low-dose vitamin supplementation is recommended as a requirement. There is no evidence to suggest the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin supplementation in childhood for improving vitiligo outcomes. Follow your doctor’s advice before trying to self-medicate with supplements.
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Intermittent use of hyperpharmacologic i X Associated with more than the usual pharmacological concentration or therapeutic dose of steroid drug doses is known as steroid pulse therapy, which helps reduce side effects to an extent compared to other steroid treatment methods. Combination therapy with systemic steroids, topical tacrolimus, and phototherapy can help with repigmentation. Steroid therapies can cause a variety of side effects, including weight gain and acneiform eruptions.
There are various phototherapy modalities known to be effective in pediatric vitiligo. UVB therapy, a type of UV light therapy, is the primary treatment choice in childhood because it helps repigmentation and stabilizes the disease. Rapidly progressive vitiligo can be managed with generalized phototherapy. May cause nausea, phototoxic reactions and pain. Your doctor may recommend antinuclear antibody screening before phototherapy sessions.
Psychotherapy helps manage patients’ fear of disease exacerbation, low self-esteem, low quality of life, poor social relationships, depression and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis are psychotherapies aimed at improving the quality of life of patients with vitiligo (5).
The clinical appearance of the disease can be improved with a wide variety of cosmetic products such as self-tanners, clothing changes, concealers. Skin-friendly makeup can come in handy when attending events and parties. It can help improve the overall quality of life. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for choosing appropriate makeup products.
Vitiligo: A Focus On Pathogenesis And Its Therapeutic Implications
A stable vitiligo lesion that has not shown any progression over a year can be managed with autologous grafting
A surgical treatment in which viable tissues from pigmented donor skin to vitiligo areas of the recipient. In stable segmental vitiligo, surgical grafting is recommended. It can be done using various grafting techniques ranging from punch grafting
XSurgical treatment in which a hole is made in the skin to replace the affected tissue with a new area of skin, split-thickness skin grafting
XA medical procedure in which skin is taken from one site to cover a surgical site in the same body, and the more recent melanocyte transplant. Grafting can cause side effects such as pain and a cobblestone effect
Vitiligo: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment |
The remaining skin color is removed using depigmentation agents. This method is an option for widespread vitiligo when other treatments do not give positive results. These agents can be used for nine months or more. It can cause redness, swelling, itching and dry skin. This is permanent and you will be sensitive to sunlight.
Your doctor can implant pigment into your skin using special tools. It is most effective for blemishes on and around the lips, especially for people with darker complexions. Treatment can cause other vitiligo patches to develop and it is a challenge to find implants that match the skin color (6) (7) (8) (9).
Vitiligo can make children self-conscious and affect their self-esteem. This can lead to emotional distress, anxiety and social stigmatization. However, there are ways to boost confidence and improve the quality of life of a child with vitiligo (10). The following tips are helpful in dealing with the psychological effects of vitiligo:
There is no specific and approved treatment for vitiligo that promises a complete cure. Family and social support is the best way to help children lead healthy lives without psychological impact.
Vitiligo: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment Of This Skin Disease
Although vitiligo is uncommon in very young children, it is most commonly seen in people after the age of 10 (11). If you notice the symptoms, take them to a doctor for diagnosis.
Vitiligo initially appears as a pale white patch on a specific area of the skin, which may gradually turn completely white (12). Some may even experience graying or graying of the hair.
There are no drugs that can stop the progression of vitiligo. Therefore, treatments are usually aimed at restoring pigmentation or removing residual color (11).
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown and the disease is characterized by patches on the skin, hair or oral cavity. Appearance can take a toll on children’s self-esteem and confidence as they grow up. The condition may result from genetic factors, environmental factors, or autoimmune conditions. Some children may be completely cured of vitiligo, while others may remain the same. There is no proven cure for vitiligo, although some medications can help control the spread and improve quality of life.
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Autoimmunity, or the immune system’s destruction of melanocytes, is one cause of vitiligo. Therefore, it is not uncommon for it to co-exist with other autoimmunes
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