Vitiligo – How To Cope With It?

vitiligo treatment - how to cope with vitiligoVitiligo is a chronic skin condition that is marked by the appearance of white patches on the skin. Although relatively painless and non life-threatening, the white patches of vitiligo still take a toll on a sufferer’s emotional and psychological well-being because of the drastic change in appearance that they bring. It is not uncommon for vitiligo patients to experience emotional stress, particularly when the condition affects highly visible areas such as the face, neck, arms and hands. It is particularly stressful for young patients, as they are more conscious about the way they look than older patients.

Still, vitiligo patients will need to cope with the condition so they can get on living normal lives. Fortunately, there are certain strategies that may help them do just that.

If you’re a vitiligo sufferer, one of the first things you have to do is find a doctor who knows a lot about the condition. That doctor will be able to educate you on the best treatments available. While you’re at it, you can also read and learn as much as you can about vitiligo. There are books, magazines and websites that discuss vitiligo at length. Armed with such knowledge, you can make informed decisions about your own course of treatment.

It is also important to let others know about your feelings. Aside from your doctor, you should let family and friends know if those white patches are making you feel depressed. That way, they all would know that you are going through a very tough time, and that you need all the support that you can get from them. You can also go the extra mile by going to counseling. With the help of a mental health professional, you will be able to discuss your innermost feelings and help you deal with your condition. If seeing a therapist is not your thing, maybe joining vitiligo support groups will help. Sharing your experiences and concerns with other people with the condition might prove to be therapeutic for you.

If you can’t bear the thought of going out in public with those white patches clearly visible, you always have the option to conceal them. There are several cosmetic brands in the market that are designed to hide areas that have been depigmented. Using these products temporarily balances your skin color. Using a concealer

is advisable for people with limited vitiligo. As there are a number of cosmetic solutions available, you need to choose a brand or type that will suit your skin tone best. You also need to know which product will not irritate your skin or cause other skin problems. If you have no idea which brands to choose, maybe you can ask your dermatologist to recommend one for you.

Most importantly, it pays to remain positive about things despite your vitiligo. While it may be hard to maintain a positive outlook when your appearance has changed so much, it is still worth a try. Always keep in mind that your condition is neither painful nor life-threatening, and that you are more fortunate than other people with medical conditions worse than yours. Stay positive, and your self-confidence and self-esteem will certainly improve.

Vitiligo or tinea versicolor?

vitiligo or tinea versicolor

It can be hard to tell the difference between vitiligo or tinea versicolor.

Vitiligo and tinea versicolor are two chronic skin disorders that are often mistaken for each other. This is not surprising, because they typically have similar symptoms. However, those who have either of them have to know for certain which condition they are suffering from in order to get the proper treatment that they need.

 The difference between vitiligo and tinea versicolor

While the two conditions may appear similar, there is no confusion as to what causes them. Vitiligo is generally regarded as an autoimmune disease, wherein the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys or disables the melanocytes, the cells which produce melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its normal color. Recent studies also suggest that it can also be hereditary in nature, or caused by certain nutritional deficiencies as well as extreme trauma or excessive stress. Tinea versicolor, on the other hand, is caused by an overgrowth of the Malassezi

a globosa fungus, which resides naturally on human skin. Warm and humid conditions often trigger this growth, and it more commonly occurs in people whose immune systems have been weakened. Having oily skin and sweating a lot is also a contributing factor to the fungal infection.

Among the common similarities between vitiligo and tinea versicolor is a marked discoloration of the skin. There is, however, a big difference when it comes to this particular similarity. The spots or patches on the skin of a vitiligo patient tend to be white, as they are completely depigmented. They are often found on fingers, toes, knees, around the eyes and mouth, the genitals and lower back. There is no noticeable scaling or itching. The spots on the skin of a tinea versicolor patient, on the other hand, is more like a rash that occurs mainly on the upper trunk, and are often lighter or darker that the skin around them. While these patches could appear white, they can also appear pink, red, or brown in color. They could also become dry, scaly and even itchy.

Vitiligo may affect people of any age. On the other hand, tinea versicolor is more common in teenagers and young adults.

One fortunate similarity between the two skin conditions is the fact that neither of them is contagious. Whether or not a person is suffering a mild or severe form of vitiligo or tinea versicolor does not matter, as you could not catch it from them, nor can they infect other people with their disorder.

Treatments for vitiligo and tinea versicolor

Even the available treatments for either condition vary greatly. For vitiligo, patients often resort to phototherapy, corticosteroid creams or ointments or even skin grafts to manage their condition. Meanwhile, tinea versicolor sufferers are encouraged to use topical antifungal creams, lotions or shampoos which contain substances such as selenium sulfide, miconazole, clotrimazole, and terbinafine, all of which keep the fungus under control. There are also antifungal pills for those with serious or recurrent cases of tinea versicolor. However, taking medications for the condition require the close monitoring of a doctor, as they tend to have side effects.

To be absolutely sure, the best thing to do would be to visit a dermatologist, who will conduct certain tests that will determine if the condition is vitiligo, tinea versicolor or something else.

Can Vitiligo Be Cured?

Is there a cure for vitiligo?

Millions of people all over the world are affected by vitiligo, a skin disorder that is marked by the appearance of white patches on certain areas of the skin. It is regarded as an autoimmune disease, but its cause is yet to be firmly established. There is evidence that suggests it can be brought on by nutritional deficiencies, genetics and excessive stress as well. Can vitiligo be cured, many patients ask. Unfortunately, to this day, there is no permanent cure for vitiligo, which can affect anyone regardless of race, gender or age. However, treating vitiligo to a point where its progress or spread can be stopped is entirely possible.

Phototherapy is one such treatment for vitiligo. In this treatment, the affected area is exposed to UVA light using a domestic UV lamp, and it can be done in a doctor’s office or at home. Some resort to using corticosteroid creams or ointments, which are designed to stimulate repigmentation of the white patches. For vitiligo patients with more than fifty percent of their skin area covered by white patches, they decide to use monobenzone ether of hydroquinone to depigment the rest of their skin in order to make it lighter and match with the affected areas.

A more invasive treatment option is skin grafting, a surgical procedure where normally-pigmented skin is transplanted onto the white patches. At the other end of the spectrum is the use of cosmetic camouflage, which has proven to be effective at masking the white patches of vitiligo and make the patient’s skin look even.

Many people, however, are curious as to how to treat vitiligo naturally. Taking this route is a wise choice since treating vitiligo the natural way is not only less expensive but also so much safer. Since there is evidence that certain nutritional deficiencies are possible causes for the appearance of vitiligo, it only makes sense to make adjustments to one’s diet. It is recommended that they consume more green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts so they can load up on more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Foods that are rich in psoralen, a compound that aids in boosting the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light and therefore promotes tanning, are also recommended for consumption. Psoralen-rich foods include parsnips, celery and carrots. Taking health supplements may also help. Research shows that significant doses of selenium and vitamin B12 help in triggering the tanning of depigmented skin.

Some scientists also point to excessive stress as a possible cause for vitiligo. It therefore goes without saying that patients should try to lower their stress levels. There are many stress management techniques that they can try out. Meditation is one of the most common ways to reduce stress levels. Taking on activities that are repetitive and gets you to focus is also a great stress-reliever, and those activities include swimming, walking and even knitting. It would also be great if they can learn deep breathing techniques. Most importantly of all, a person could lessen his or her stress levels by simply adopting a positive attitude towards life.