Early onset, quick stability, and unilateral distribution are all characteristics of segmental vitiligo. According to new research, segmental and nonsegmental vitiligo may be different manifestations of the same disease.
What is Segmental Vitiligo?
Depigmentation of areas of skin, hair, mucous (inside the mouth or nose), or eyes on one side of the body is known as segmental vitiligo. The spots (which are usually chalk-white in color) appear on sun-exposed parts of the skin (commonly hands, face, neck, and legs). They might be millimeters to centimeters in length and are more susceptible to sunburn.
Segmental vitiligo is most commonly encountered in young children due to its early onset. The majority of instances occur before the age of 30 from infancy through maturity. From person to person, the entire area of damaged skin varies.
Despite the fact that segmental vitiligo is not life threatening or communicable, it can cause psychological distress and sadness. Low self-esteem, anxiety, and other mental disorders are common among vitiligo sufferers. People who have a low self-esteem may avoid going out in public and limit their social interactions.
Signs and Symptoms of Segmental Vitiligo
While the actual cause of segmental vitiligo remains unknown and is the focus of numerous investigations, it has been connected to heredity. It is thought to be caused by the following factors, according to various research studies:
- Melanocytes are being destroyed (the cells responsible for pigmentation)
- Melanocyte inactivity is a condition in which melanocytes are dormant.
- Hormonal shifts
- Jaundice or typhoid fever on a regular basis
- Antibiotic treatments that last a long time
- The use of strong immunosuppressive medications
Some specialists also believe that insecticide/pesticide-treated vegetables, severe sunburn, skin damage from a cut, chemical exposure, unusual dietary combinations, regular junk food consumption, and poor cleanliness can all contribute to segmental vitiligo. Mental stress, along with all of the other components listed above, has not been confirmed to cause segmental vitiligo due to inconsistent results from different research.
Treatments of Segmental Vitiligo
White patches expand swiftly in segmental vitiligo at first, but then stop spreading after 1-2 years. As a result, it usually responds well to treatment. Many patients have discovered that UV light therapy, steroid hormone creams, or a skin graft have helped them. Some people respond to immune-stimulating medicines combined with antioxidants, while others may benefit from stress management techniques. However, many studies are still being conducted in order to find a cure for segmental vitiligo. The following are some of the most popular treatment options:
A surgeon takes healthy patches of the patient’s pigmented skin and grafts them over the damaged areas. The following are some of the operations used to treat segmental vitiligo:
- Minature punch grafting (bits of skin about 2 mm in diameter are punched out and placed on the affected skin)
- Suction blister grafting (negative pressure is given to the afflicted area to encourage the production of numerous blisters)
- Split-thickness skin grafting (involves shaving off thin layers of skin from the affected area to produce uniform pigmentation)
- Non-cultured autologous epidermal cell suspensions
Phototherapy with UVA Light
UVA Phototherapy is frequently combined with a medication that improves the sensitivity of the afflicted skin to UV light. White patches are exposed to strong amounts of UVA light in a series of sessions.
Topical corticosteroids can sometimes result in a complete restoration of the original skin color. Calcipotriene is a kind of vitamin D that can also be used as a topical ointment.
Many vitiligo fighters can disguise patches with camouflage. The majority of topical cosmetics (creams and makeup) are waterproof.
Tattooing is used to implant artificial pigments into the skin. However, the method frequently involves trouble matching skin tone and the fact that tattoos fade over time.
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