Vitiligo in simple language means loss of normal skin color. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder characterized by either defective formation of skin pigment called melanin or destruction or complete loss of melanin pigment. It appears on the skin in the form of patches.
Causes of Vitiligo: The exact cause of development of Vitiligo is not known but following factors are known to participate in the formation of Vitiligo in a person.
- Genetic tendency
- Hormonal disorder
- Occupational hazards
Causes of Vitiligo in children:
One of the most common causes of developing Vitiligo in children is the genetic factor. Dr. Rajesh Shah, MD, Life Force has made an important observation through a study at Life Force that patients of Vitiligo have a strong genetic trait where his close family members like parents, grandparents, uncle, auntie or a sibling is suffering from one or more of following diseases.
- Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)
- Alopecia Areata
- Pernicious anemia
Types of Vitiligo:Vitiligo is divided into two types.
Segmental Vitiligo: Segmental Vitiligo affects only one segment of the body that means only one side of face or a leg or an arm is affectedby Vitiligo. Segmental Vitiligo is most commonly seen in the children. More than half of the patients with segmental Vitiligo show patches of white hair on head, on an eyelash or on an eyebrow.
Diagnosis of Vitiligo in children:
Diagnosis of Vitiligo is done by physical examination, medical history, and laboratory investigations.
Generally, a thorough examination by an expert is sufficient to diagnose the cause of Vitiligo. In some cases following measures are taken.
Inspection of skin with Wood’s lamp by an expert
- WOOD’S LAMP
- Laboratory tests like Thyroid Profile which includes finding out the levels of T3, T4, and TSH
- In rare cases, biopsy of the skin is advised.
Is every white spot a Vitiligo?
The answer is a big “NO”. Some fungal infections like Tinea versicolor, Pityriasis Alba and Scleroderma also represent in the form of white patch on the body. To know more about diseases which are mistaken as vitiligo visit the link.. >>Read more<<
How should parents approach Vitiligo in children?
When any child is diagnosed with Vitiligo, the parents feel an extreme sense of shock and rejection. Obviously, it is tough for any parents to accept easily that their child suffers from Vitiligo but they have to be brave heart and instill confidence into their child suffering from Vitiligo. Following are the guidelines for the parents of children who are diagnosed having Vitiligo.
Accept the situation: Once as a parent you accept the disease, it will be easier for your child to face the society with confidence.
Do not try to hide the spots: Children are very sensitive and sharp. If you always insist on wearing clothes by which their Vitiligo spots are covered then it may produce a sense of inferiority complex in their minds. Rather allow them to wear whatever they want to.
Do not examine the spread of the disease often: This shows the restlessness and fear in the minds of parents about Vitiligo. This will make the child more conscious towards the disease. Rather, examine the spread of the disease strictly when the child is sleeping and only once in a month.
Can homeopathic medicines treat Vitiligo in children?
Homeopathic medicines are found useful in treating Vitiligo in children as well as adults. Dr. Rajesh Shah, MD, Life Force has treated and documented over 6000 cases of Vitiligo across the continents in last 30 years of his practice. He observes that the Vitiligo in children can be treated very well with the help of homeopathic medicines.