Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease with a strong genetic component. It features areas of depigmented skin resulting from loss of epidermal melanocytes. Undoubtedly, genetic factors play key roles in this skin condition.
Yes, vitiligo has a genetic basis. Nevertheless, less than half of those with the condition know of someone in their family who also has it. On the other hand, if you have it, it does not follow that your children will develop it.
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. Some believe that it arises from genetic susceptibility activated by an environmental factor. It is like how an autoimmune disease occurs.
Vitiligo results in the destruction of skin pigment cells. Risk factors include a family history of the condition or other autoimmune diseases. Clearly, it is not contagious.
Vitiligo has two main types: segmental and non-segmental. As has been noted, most cases are non-segmental. In short, they affect both sides. Overall, in these cases, the affected area of the skin expands with time.
Likewise, about 10% of cases are segmental. In brief, they involve one side of the body. Ordinarily, in these cases, the affected area of the skin does not expand with time. Usually, tissue biopsy confirms diagnosis.
Gases around the earth cut off 98.7% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation from piercing through our atmosphere. The 2.3% that penetrates may have bad effects when you get overly exposed, but in moderation, it actually has good effects on the skin.
UV radiation between 290 and 320 nm is referred to as ultraviolet-B (UVB). UVB radiation mostly affects human beings. UVB exposure generates the manufacture of vitamin D in the skin at a rate of up to 1,000 IUs per minute. Vitamin D has important roles in blood pressure, bone growth and maintenance of bone density, calcium metabolism, cell proliferation, immunity, insulin secretion, and the normal functioning of the nervous system.
UVB also fuels the production of new melanin that brings on ample increase in the dark-colored pigment of the skin. Additionally, UVB activates the cells to cause the expansion of the epidermis. As a result, UVB is accountable for the darkening and thickening of the outer skin layers, creating a defense mechanism against further UV damage.