Ask the doctor: How will vitiligo affect my kid?
Q. Our 12-year-old daughter has vitiligo. I know this isn’t life-threatening, but how will it affect her future?
A. Vitiligo is a condition in which patches of skin lose their color due to a lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. It’s not life-threatening, but it can be emotionally challenging for some people. It’s more noticeable on darker skin; on lighter skin, the contrast between the pale patches and normal skin isn’t as great.
No one knows exactly what causes vitiligo, but there may be a genetic component. The condition is thought to develop when cells that make melanin die or stop functioning. This can happen for a number of reasons, including trauma or sunburn to the skin, or an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its own cells. Vitiligo tends to start appearing before age 40 and affects about 1 percent of the world’s population.
People with vitiligo often experience psychological distress due to its visible nature, especially during childhood and adolescence; they tend to have lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression than others their age. They may be teased by peers — though less
There are a lot of things that can lead to vitiligo. One of them is genetics. If you have a family member with vitiligo, it may be passed on to your child. The first thing to do is find out how it will affect them.
In most cases, the symptoms of vitiligo do not get worse over time. Some people may notice their skin getting lighter or their hair turning gray at an early age. Others may not notice any changes until they are in their 40s or 50s.
If you have a family history of vitiligo, there is no need to worry about your child developing the condition. Most children with the condition will not develop any symptoms until they are teenagers or adults. If you are concerned about your child’s skin color, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent vitiligo from developing in your child.
My daughter was diagnosed with vitiligo a few months ago, and I would like to know more about the disease, especially how it will affect her in the future.
Vitiligo is a chronic skin disorder that causes depigmentation of portions of the skin. Vitiligo occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or stop producing melanin. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural, or viral causes. Vitiligo affects all races equally; however, it is more noticeable in people with darker skin. There is no known cure for vitiligo. Currently available treatments only help to stop or slow down the progression of depigmentation and attempt to restore pigment to the affected areas of skin.
The rate at which depigmentation occurs varies greatly from person to person. Vitiligo can progress very quickly (months) or slowly (years). In most cases vitiligo stops spreading after about five years, but there is no way to predict how much pigment a person will lose. Some people lose pigment in only a few areas of their bodies; others may lose pigment over their entire bodies. In rare cases repigmentation also happens very
Vitiligo can be devastating to our children. While many children are bothered by the appearance of their skin, some are not. As parents, you can help your child cope with vitiligo.
Keep in mind that your kids are watching how you react to the changes in their skin. If you freak out about it and make it a big deal, they will too. When you talk to your child about vitiligo, do so in a calm and matter-of-fact manner.
Talk regularly with your child about any questions or concerns he or she may have. Ask what his or her friends say about the vitiligo, and be ready to talk to your child’s teacher if there is an issue at school. Most importantly, listen to your child and answer questions honestly.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes depigmentation of the skin and hair. The skin loses its color when melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color, stops being produced. This leaves white patches on the skin all over the body. The hair that grows in areas affected by vitiligo is usually white.
Vitiligo can affect anyone, but it most often strikes people with darker skin. It’s more noticeable in people with darker complexions because of the contrast between the light patches and their natural skin tone. It’s not dangerous, but it can be disfiguring.
Vitiligo often strikes before age 20, though it can pop up at any age. It’s not contagious and doesn’t cause pain or itchiness. It has no effect on a person’s general health, but it can have an emotional impact, especially in children who are ridiculed or teased about their appearance.
Some people feel embarrassed by their vitiligo, while others choose to show off their unique look with pride or even embark on modeling careers.
Vitiligo is a condition in which the pigment cells of the skin are destroyed in certain areas. The involved skin becomes white and usually has sharp margins. This condition can affect the skin on any part of your body.
It can also affect hair, the inside of the mouth and even the retina of the eyes. Vitiligo usually starts as small areas of pigment loss that spread and become larger with time. These changes in your skin color may cause cosmetic concerns and make you feel self-conscious about your appearance.
No one knows exactly what causes vitiligo. It may result from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural or viral causes. Vitiligo is more noticeable in people with dark skin. In such cases, pigment loss may cause social or psychological distress.
Some people report a single event — such as sunburn or emotional distress — that they believe preceded development of vitiligo. Others recall a gradual or sudden onset of vitiligo with no clear precipitating event.
Vitiligo is an acquired depigmenting disease affecting 1% of the population. The disorder has both physical and psychological effects on those affected. Children face special challenges, as vitiligo can interfere with peer relationships and self-esteem.
People with vitiligo who have lighter skin are at greater risk for sun damage, which can lead to skin cancer. Your child should use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days, rain or snow. Sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and be broad spectrum (blocking UVA and UVB rays). A sun block stick can be helpful for the eyelids and lips, where creams are not as effective.
People with darker skin who have vitiligo need sun protection too, but may not have to use it every day. They still need to use sunscreen when they go out in the sun for extended periods of time. Ask your doctor how often your child should apply sunscreen.