Wednesday, January 13

Causes of vitiligo skin disease - loss of skin pigment - white patches

White spots on skin, lips, fingernails, teeth, tonsils and genitalia > Vitiligo white skin patches > Causes > Signs > Diagnosis - Treatment and cure - Recent research

Vitiligo causes loss of skin pigment giving rise to white skin patches.
Vitiligo disease causes depigmentation of the skin in patches.
There are a number of possible causes for the onset of the disease. This disorder of white patches is believed to be primarily brought about by an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmunity causes vitiligo disorder

The most strong and accepted view about the causes of loss of pigmentation is autoimmunity.
In an autoimmune disease an individual's immune system reacts and destroys his own organs and body tissues.
In vitiligo disorder, the immune system produces certain proteins known as cytokines (immunomodulating agents) which target and alter the pigment producing melanocytes and leads to their gradual death resulting in white skin patches.
There is another view that some autoimmune factor causes the self destruction of melanocytes and loss of pigment.

Persons already affected by other autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease have the greater risk of loss of pigmentation.
The autoimmune disease of the adrenal glands (Addison's disease) has been associated with the occurrence of this disorder.
Thyroid disorder causes the disease with white patches having no pigment.
Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases of thyroid glands lead to their over expression or under expression.

Persons with this thyroid impairment have been found prone to loss of pigment.

Hereditary factors in loss of pigment

Strong evidence is pointing towards inheritance in persons whose close blood relatives already have this disorder.
There is a great possibility of children of the vitiligo affected parents developing this white patches.
It has been found that 30% of the persons affected by this disorder have at least one family member affected by the disorder of loss of skin pigment.
Individuals with vitiligo pigment disorder seem to inherit a batch of multiple genes which make them susceptible to loss of pigmentation.
Vitiligo affected hand
Physiological conditions and stress like sun burn and skin injury sometimes seem to be one of the causes for white patches.
Psychological stress triggers and leads to loss of pigment.
Environmental factors can also be the reason for white vitiligo patches.

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