- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Different Cures for Vitiligo - Controlling Inflammation
Vitiligo's cause is still unknown, but it does not discriminate. Both sexes are equally affected. People with this skin disorder have areas of their skin where the cells that produce our skin's pigment (melanocytes) have died. This leaves the fully involved parts of the skin, those with no pigment, pure white. It is more noticeable when the person's natural skin tone is dark, but that does not make it any easier for a fair skinned person to deal with it. White is white, and never a natural skin color.
Statistics tell us that the average age of onset for vitiligo is in the 20's, but it can start at almost any age. Even children and babies are affected. Approximately one million children are affected and have to learn to cope with the disease. Cures for vitiligo are difficult to find and once begun vitiligo will continue for the person's entire life. At times the vitiligo appears to improve significantly for no apparent reason as the involved skin re-pigments. Then, just as mysteriously, the disease will flare up or appear on a new area of the body.
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Controlling inflammation in the skin has been shown to be an important part of a person's personal vitiligo cure. A common early treatment is to apply corticosteroid ointment to the diseased areas twice a day. The medication will reduce tissue inflammation, hopefully stopping the loss of pigment before it is lost completely. The area will then have the chance to regain pigmentation as long as inflammation and irritation remains controlled.
Tissue inflammation is a main problem for people with vitiligo. It is extremely important be aware of any problems with your skin. Keep it well cared for and treat any signs of inflammation quickly. Control of skin inflammation is part of the vitiligo cure. If you know that other family members have the disease, pamper your skin. Do whatever you can to stop inflammation before it begins.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can make as part of inflammation prevention in your vitiligo cure:
1. Always avoid tight-fitting clothes which can produce friction. Shoes need to fit well too. Friction can lead to a small amount of inflammation that you may not feel is a problem. Unfortunately, it may be sufficient enough to trigger vitiligo in that area and other areas as well.
Sports that require headgear are a problem. Use of any kind of helmet or headgear has been shown to trigger skin changes around the bony prominences (think cheek bones and eye brows) of the head. This can affect you in sports from football to bicycling. Consider basketball or track instead and always be careful of skin irritation.
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2. Stress can trigger inflammation in our bodies, and inflammation can trigger or worsen vitiligo. If your condition first appears near the small joints of your feet and hands, it is possible that stress is triggering the skin changes. Vitiligo can act as a reflection of your general stress level. Constant bombardment with stress will cause a vitiligo flare. If your stress levels are low and at a more manageable level, your vitiligo will improve.
Do whatever it takes to ensure that your stress level is permanently reduced as part of your vitiligo cure. Whenever you can, add general stress relievers like exercise or meditation to your daily routine. You will feel better and may see a real change.
3. Allergies can cause vitiligo by creating skin irritation and inflammation. While you may not be able to see the airborne pollutants, your skin can feel them. If your work environment is the problem, the only way to reduce the impact is by wearing proper respiratory and skin protection. Long sleeve shirts and gloves, long pants and sox, and a face mask will all help you avoid allergen exposure. If these do not give you enough protection from irritants, you may want to consider a different job. Look for a job within the same company you already work for, but if it must be a major change it will be worth it as a step forward in your vitiligo cure.
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Another source of skin allergens and irritants can be personal care items. Compounds in soaps, shampoos, and conditioners may create a reaction in your body that shows up in your skin. Perfumes in various products can exacerbate vitiligo. Only by carefully eliminating an item for at least two to four weeks will you find out if it has a negative effect on your skin. Then avoidance of the items that cause problems is part of your vitiligo cure.
Keep reading the next pages for more strategies for your vitiligo cure. Only through control will you feel cured.