Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects millions of people all over the world. The disorder causes patches of skin to lose pigmentation, resulting in white spots or streaks on the body. Although vitiligo does not cause any physical pain or discomfort, it can have a serious impact on an individual’s emotional well-being and self-esteem.
Living with vitiligo can be difficult for those who are affected by it, as well as their family members and loved ones. It is important for individuals living with vitiligo to understand the condition and take steps to manage the symptoms and stress associated with it. This blog will provide information about what vitiligo is and offer some tips on how to manage the condition that you’re living with.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in the loss of color or pigmentation of the skin, causing it to appear lighter or turn white. Smaller areas without pigment are referred to as macules, while larger areas are referred to as patches. Hair that grows in areas affected by vitiligo may also turn white or silver. This condition occurs when the immune system destroys melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin – the chemical responsible for skin pigmentation.
Who Does Vitiligo Affect?
Vitiligo occurs in just over 1% of the world’s population and presents itself in an equal manner across all races and genders. However, it tends to be more noticeable in individuals with darker skin tones. While vitiligo can develop at any point in time, macules or patches tend to become visible before the age of 30. You might be at a higher risk of developing vitiligo if you have one of the following autoimmune conditions:
- Addison’s disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
Tips For Managing Vitiligo Symptoms
If you or a loved one suffers from vitiligo, it is important to learn effective symptom management strategies to enhance your quality of life. Our comprehensive guide outlines proven tips to alleviate the stress and discomfort associated with this challenging condition.
Sun Protection & Vitiligo
Individuals with vitiligo require additional skin care during warmer seasons due to their heightened susceptibility to sunburn. Unlike regular skin, which benefits from melanin protection, skin patches lacking pigmentation are defenseless against damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Therefore, extra precautions must be taken to maintain healthy skin and reduce the risk of unpigmented skin being damaged.
Unprotected skin affected by vitiligo is prone to rapid sunburn, which is not only painful but also capable of stimulating the further spreading of the condition in some individuals. Sunburn also heightens the risk of skin cancer. While sunlight is essential for maintaining good health as it is our primary source of Vitamin D, the skin must be safeguarded from any harmful effects of exposure to the sun. Some of the best practices for suncare with vitiligo are:
- Always use sunblock or sunscreen products
- Wear loose cotton clothing, a sunhat, and sunglasses for further protection
- Stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day
Diet & Nutrition and Vitiligo
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence indicating a definitive association between one’s diet and vitiligo. Nevertheless, certain research studies indicate that adjusting one’s diet or incorporating supplementary nutrition could potentially yield positive results for those suffering from vitiligo.
For optimal health, it is recommended to adhere to a diet rich in nutrients. This is particularly beneficial for those suffering from vitiligo. A diet primarily composed of plant-based and antioxidant-rich foods while minimizing inflammatory and gluten-containing products may help alleviate the symptoms of vitiligo. Some of the changes in diet and nutrition that can help improve vitiligo symptoms include:
- Eat an antioxidant-rich diet
- Try a gluten-free diet
- Avoid inflammatory foods such as processed meats and sugary drinks
- Take vitamins and supplements
Vitiligo can be difficult for those who are affected by it, as well as their family members and loved ones. It’s important to understand the disorder and take steps to manage its symptoms with sun protection, diet, and nutrition changes. With these strategies in place, and the collection of vitiligo products from Summers Laboratories, individuals living with vitiligo may find some relief from this challenging condition. Shop our collection of vitiligo products to help you find some relief today.