Vitiligo is a chronic onset of skin disease. Not only does it bring harmful health impact to vitiligo patients in varying degrees, but the white patches also affect the patient’s physical appearance negatively even to the extent of affecting the job & life prospects, leading to mental illnesses in patients. Therefore, be sure to get early treatment after the emergence of any vitiligo symptoms.
The main sign of vitiligo is patchy loss of skin color. Usually, the discoloration first shows on sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, feet, arms, face and lips.
Here are 4 tips to help you spot vitiligo early.
- Few de-pigmented white spots start to show, and most are appearing on the exposed parts of the skin
- White spots are about the size of a coin; nearly round, oval or irregular in shape with a smooth surface, clear border & increased pigmentation on the edge
- Affected areas are usually non-itching
- Other than the loss of pigment, the affected skin and the surrounding skin are the same in texture without any itch, peeling, atrophy etc.
Common vitiligo signs include:
- Patchy loss of skin color
- Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
- Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose (mucous membranes)
- Loss of or change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball (retina)
Learn more about the Signs & Symptoms of Vitiligo
Vitiligo can start at any age, but often appears before age 20.
Depending on the type of vitiligo you have, the discolored patches may cover:
- Many parts of your body. With this most common type, called generalized vitiligo, the discolored patches often progress similarly on corresponding body parts (symmetrically).
- Only one side or part of your body. This type, called segmental vitiligo, tends to occur at a younger age, progress for a year or two, then stop.
- One or only a few areas of your body. This type is called localized (focal) vitiligo.
It’s difficult to predict how your disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of your skin. Rarely, the skin gets its color back.
When to see a doctor?
See your doctor if areas of your skin, hair or eyes lose coloring. Vitiligo has no cure. But treatment may help to stop or slow the discoloring process and return some color to your skin.
By detecting and treating vitiligo early while it is less widespread, you would be able to achieve a normal looking skin sooner with less inconvenience to your life.