African Americans are often faced with a unique set of skin care problems that are somewhat linked to their skin color and genetics. While African Americans tend to experience many of the same skin care challenges that Caucasians, Hispanic and Asians experience, it seems to manifest differently on African Americans. Their predisposition to hyperpigmentation makes them more vulnerable to skin conditions that cause discoloration of the skin.
Talking about Vitiligo; Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes loss of skin color in patches. The severity and rate of skin color loss as a result of Vitiligo is largely unpredictable. However, it is capable of affecting the skin on any part of your body. It also can affect the color of the hair around the affected areas as well as the inside of the mouth. Under normal circumstances, the color of the skin and hair is determined by melanin. Vitiligo springs into action when the cells responsible for producing melanin dies or ceases to function. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types but it usually more noticeable among people of color, especially African Americans .
At Buckhead Dermatology in Atlanta and College, there are trained skin experts who can help in proffering remedies to help your vitiligo situation. Vitiligo is not particularly a life threatening skin disease or contagious although it can prove to be a bit of a psychological disturbance. It can be stressful or make you develop a low self esteem. The treatment of Vitiligo may restore color to the affected skin but cannot stop the continued loss of skin color.
One main unmissable sign of Vitiligo is loss of skin color, usually in patches. The discolorations tends to appear on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun such as our feet, hands, lips and face. Some of the signs include:
- Discoloration of the tissues that form the lining of the inner mouth
- Loss of skin color in small, medium or large patches
- Whitening or greying of the hair on the eyelashes, beard, eyebrows or scalp at a relatively premature age.
- Color change in the inner layer of the eyeballs.
Vitiligo can manifest at any age but has been known to usually appear before the age of 20 years.
Depending on the kind of vitiligo you may be experiencing, the discolorations may cover:
- The majority of your body: There is a certain kind of vitiligo called generalized vitiligo and this is considered the most common type. The light patches tends to progress randomly on to most parts of the body with time.
- Limited or only few areas of your body: This is often referred to medically as localized or focal vitiligo
- Just one side of your body: This type is known as segmental vitiligo and it tends to occur at a younger age, keeps spreading for a year or two and then stops.
It is a bit difficult to predict how vitiligo develops. In some cases, the white patches stop forming even without any form of medical intervention.
If you aren’t sure what that little white patch is all about on your skin, you can pay a visit to Buckhead Dermatology in Atlanta and College to book an appointment with an expert dermatologist.