Creating a world of harmony for people with Vitiligo needs a lot of effort & understanding from us. This non-contagious skin condition associates a lot of taboo, stigma and myths which many of us believe without having an understanding of the condition. In Indian society, skin colour is no doubt a big factor for social acceptance and in such a place, people with uneven skin tone often find themselves left out. This often leads to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and even depression in some cases for Vitiligo patients. Life is a gift and how we perceive it, shapes our world. The uneven patches often carry a love-hate relationship with the society and so with the patient’s life.
The world celebrates “VITILIGO AWARENESS MONTH” in June. The awareness this society needs is to understand this condition & accept Vitiligo patients. Almost 1-2% of the world’s total population is affected by this condition. Our skin gets its colour from a naturally occurring pigment – melanin which is produced by melanocytes. Vitiligo or white patches occur when these melanocytes start dying due to unknown reasons. Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder and that can have a significantly negative social and/or psychological impact on patients, in part because of numerous misconceptions that are present in large parts of the world. People of any skin type can get affected by this condition, but the patches are more noticeable on dark-skinned people. The condition is not life threatening and can be managed with modern treatments and therapies. The first signs of Vitiligo usually appear before 30s. Unfortunately, Vitiligo has no cure but there are a lot of treatment that patients can go for.
Here are some tips given by Dr. Munish Paul to help Vitiligo patients.
- Sun exposure: Excessive exposure to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin, especially for a Vitiligo patient. Vitiligo skin is more vulnerable to get burned easily. Hence, Vitiligo patients are always recommended to avoid sunlight or use sunscreen while going out. Water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or over are recommended which need to be reapplied every 2-3 hours. Protective clothing like sunglasses, covered clothing and hats are also recommended to avoid sun-exposure.
- People with Vitiligo always need to be extra careful with their skin. Skin trauma such as scrapes, cuts or burns may develop new patches and helps to widespread the condition. However, you may not stop accidents but do your best to avoid any kind of skin injury.
- Tattooing the patches is never a solution. Because tattoos are done by wounding the skin and causes trauma for the skin which may result in development of new patches within a few weeks.
- Like any health condition, Vitiligo can be best handled by leading a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle helps support the immune system. Eat a balanced, nutritional diet and work to reduce stress level. Stress leads to the occurrence of new Vitiligo patches and hence it is best to avoid it. Try meditation, yoga, etc., to minimise stress levels because mental health is an important factor for Vitiligo patients.
- Camouflage is the best way to cover the Vitiligo patches and always recommended for children too. Camouflage treatment helps to cover the Vitiligo patches with some concealing cream or makeup giving a unified skin tone. Such concealing creams stay on the skin for longer hours even days. Microskin is one such camouflage cream which stays on the skin for several days and also is water-resistant. This product is safe for children also.
Nowadays, with the advent of technology, Vitiligo has many treatment options like light therapy & surgical treatments. But it is always important to consult a certified dermatologist as soon as the first patch of Vitiligo appears. Early treatment Vitiligo helps to minimise the widespread.
Lastly, it is crucial for people with Vitiligo to not be undermined, discouraged or feel low and it is everyone’s responsibility to make an effort to understand the condition and create a discrimination-free world for them.
Dr. Paul’s Skin At Laser Centre, Vitiligo treatment is performed under the supervision of certified MD Dermatologists after an open discussion about the procedure, results, and possible effects of the treatment. Call today at 9803 029 029 to know more!