Abstract
PREVALENCE AND CLINICAL CHARACTERS OF VITILIGO - A COMMON SKIN DISORDER

R. Indira*, N. Nirmala, K. V. Padmavathi and K. L. Saraswathi

ABSTRACT

Vitiligo is an acquired cutaneous disorder of pigmentation, with an incidence of 0.5% to 2% worldwide. There are three major hypotheses for the pathogenesis of vitiligo that are not exclusive of each other: biochemical/cytotoxic, neural and autoimmune. Recent data provide strong evidence supporting an autoimmune pathogenesis of vitiligo. As vitiligo can have a major effect on quality of life, treatment can be considered and should preferably begin early when then disease is active. Current treatment modalities are directed towards stopping progression of the disease and achieving repigmentation. Therapies include corticosteroids, topical immunomodulators, photo (chemo) therapy, surgery,combination therapies Vitiligo is an acquired skin disorder caused by the disappearance of pigment cells from the epidermis that gives rise to well defined white patches which are often symmetrically distributed. The lack of melanin pigment makes the lesional skin more sensitive to sunburn. Sunscreens and good guidance may help the patient cope better with the disease. Vitiligo can be cosmetically disfiguring and it is a stigmatizing condition, leading to serious psychologic problems in daily life. It occurs worldwide in about 0.5% of the population and it occurs as frequently in males as it does in females. The cause is unknown, but might involve genetic factors, autoimmunity, neurologic factors, toxic metabolites, and lack of melanocyte growth factors. As vitiligo can have a major effect on quality of life, treatment can be considered and should preferably begin early when then disease is active. Many treatments have been used for some time; however; there are some new developments: narrowband ultraviolet (UV) B (311nm) therapy, the combination of corticosteroid cream + UVA therapy, and the transplantation of autologous pigment cells in various modalities.

Keywords: Vitiligo, Melanocytes, Autoimmunity.


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