Vitiligo Definition: Vitiligo is a non-contagious disease characterized by the presence of white spots on the skin, present in some parts of the body. Let’s focus now on what vitiligo is specifically.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo, also called leukoderma, is a common dermatosis, with a chronic and progressive course, characterized by skin rashes lacking (hypochromia) or lacking (achromia) of melanin.
The patches on the skin appear with a shade ranging from pink to milky white, with sharp edges, often hyperpigmented, which highlight the color contrast with the surrounding normal pigmented skin.
These patches, usually symmetrically arranged, can occur anywhere on the body, at any age. Their onset is independent of the sex, skin and hair color of the affected subjects.
Vitiligo usually affects the nails and areas of the body near the openings, such as the eyes, genitals or anus. But Vitiligo can also show up on the hands or other parts of the body.
The body distribution of the spots is however subject to extreme individual variability.
How many people suffer from it?
After analyzing what vitiligo is, a further doubt could be linked to the incidence of vitiligo.
Statistically, according to the World Health Organization, Vitiligo affects over 1% of the world population. In Italy, for example, there would be 1,000,000 people affected by vitiligo. Furthermore, vitiligo affects no geographical, racial or sex differences.
The age group most affected includes subjects between 20-40 years old. However, in pediatrics, the cases of vitiligo are significantly increasing compared to the past.
It is a disease rarely present at birth, so it can be defined as acquired, although it is possible that it manifests itself from the first days of life.
In about 13-15% of cases it has a family history.
Is it a contagious disease?
Vitiligo is almost always progressive and does not heal spontaneously except in very rare cases.
However, it is a painless, non-contagious and absolutely benign dermatosis.
It does not affect the general state of health, but it can be psychically and socially disabling as it is the cause of almost always extensive and very evident imperfections.
Its presence could, in some cases, indicate associated autoimmune disorders (eg thyroiditis, chronic autoimmune gastritis, autoimmune diabetes, diabetes).
This is the main definition of Vitiligo: to find out more, keep browsing our site. You will learn about the main treatments and other information on this skin condition.