Is segmental vitiligo curable?
Vitiligo is a common disorder. Vitiligo is an acquired disease that affects patients’ skin pigment. It is characterized by the formation of well-defined white lesions on the skin. Melanocytes are the cells responsible is the production of skin pigment. Vitiligo patients loss the melanocytes within the epidermis layer. Vitiligo can result in localized or generalized white lesions. The lesions are more obvious among dark skin patients. This disease is more obvious and impairs them more than patients with lighter skin tones. Vitiligo Treatments in Kuala Lumpur help manage your skin disease.
This disease has a significant negative impact on patients of any age, gender, or race. The quality of life of both adults and children are commonly affected. Vitiligo patients are frequently subjected to social isolation, stigmatization, and low self-esteem. Skin depigmentation is frequently caused by vitiligo. Vitiligo affects males and females equally. It can occur at any age, but most cases were reported in the second and third decades of life. About 33.33% of vitiligo patients are children.
The underlying cause of vitiligo is unknown. However, patients commonly associate this disease with certain life events like emotional stress, sunburn, physical injury, and pregnancy. No data is supporting all those factors are the causes of vitiligo. Studies can link between family history of vitiligo and the present of autoimmune disease with the emergence of vitiligo. Individuals who received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are more likely to suffer from vitiligo in comparison to the general population. They are three times at risk to develop vitiligo. The exact mechanism of how this happened is still unclear.
There are few hypotheses on how this disease happened. The hypotheses are:
- Genetic factor
- Self-destruction of melanocytes
- Oxidative stress
- Neural hypothesis
The clinical features of vitiligo are depigmented white skin lesions or patches which are white or milky in colour without any other signs and symptoms. The lesion can occur anywhere on the body. The lesions of vitiligo may have three colours. The colours are white, light-brown, and normal skin colour. There are two main types of vitiligo. They are:
Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common form of vitiligo. The subtypes of non-segmental vitiligo are generalized, acral, mucosal, and universal. Generalized vitiligo is when the depigmented patches occur randomly on multiple body parts bilaterally and symmetrically. Acral vitiligo is when the depigmented patches take place on the distal extremities with or without facial involvement. Mucosal vitiligo is characterized by the formation of depigmented patches around the oral and genital mucosa. Universal vitiligo is when almost entire skin is covered by the depigmented patches.
Segmental vitiligo commonly characterized by the formation of depigmented patches along the dermatomes. The progression of vitiligo, in general, is unpredictable. The disease can progress fast or slow. The diagnosis can be made with the help of Wood’s lamp, dermoscopy, and skin biopsy. A further assessment like the thyroid function test, antinuclear antibody test, and other investigations to explore associated autoimmune diseases are required.
The treatments available are topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, phototherapy, PUVA photochemotherapy, systemic corticosteroids, surgery, and other supportive therapies. Treating vitiligo is challenging with slow progression. Frequent relapse is also another challenge. This disease is a chronic disease and difficult to achieve an absolute cure.