Vitiligo: Dermatologist shares myths and facts about this skin condition

Vitiligo is a condition that causes pale white patches on the skin. Unfortunately, despite all advancements, there’s still shame and stigma attached to this skin disorder. There are several myths tied to vitiligo that further fuel this stigma.

Dermatologist Dr Madhuri Agarwal, recently, shared a post debunking these myths about vitiligo.

“Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes depigmentation (loss of skin colour) in irregular patchy patterns. The disorder itself is rare, affecting only about 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent of the world’s population,” the dermatologist said.

Myth: Vitiligo is made worse by eating certain combinations of foods like milk and cream.

Fact: Vitiligo is not related to or caused by food choices.

Myth: Offspring with white patches in skin born to mixed-race parents suffer from vitiligo.

Fact: Vitiligo is not related to the ethnicity of the parents and most people with white patches may have normal skin colour at birth.

She added, “It is a progressive medical condition that generally emerges as discoloured white patches in a person before the age of 20, though it can occur at an older age too.”

Myth: If you see someone with vitiligo, you should turn the other way because it’s contagious.

Fact: Vitiligo is neither contagious nor infectious, and there’s no way to get it from someone else. So, there is no reason to avoid people who may have visible signs of the disorder.

Myth: You can cure vitiligo and return the colour to white patches by rubbing a variety of oils into the skin or taking certain supplements.

Fact: Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for vitiligo. However, there are a number of therapies that people with vitiligo may try including UV light therapy, surgical skin and melanocyte grafts, tattooing and medications.

Dr Agarwal suggested to “speak with your dermatologist to learn about all the options available to address the colour loss of skin” if you have vitiligo.

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