Difference between vitiligo and albinism
Whilst our fashion and beauty discussions, usually centre around darker complexions such as those found in black, mixed race and other race groups. There is another subset that is often left out of the skincare discussion. That is skincare for people with vitiligo and albinism. Whilst albinism and vitiligo are different. They do share some similarities. In people with albinism, pigment cells called melanocytes are present but do not function properly. In contrast, vitiligo also has to do with melanocytes. However in the case of vitiligo, the melanocytes die for unknown reasons.
Vitiligo treatment and key aspects to know
In this article we will focus on vitiligo. As previously stated, vitiligo occurs when melanocytes die. Which results in the lack of pigment production which is when one starts to develop white spots or patches on the skin. Vitiligo is also often accompanied by some sort of auto immune and inflammatory disease. Known accompanying diseases include Hashimoto’s Addison’s disease, celiac disease and pernicious anemia among others. Unlike albinism, vitiligo can occur at any time. Usually appearing before one’s 20’s due to a health trigger that makes the cells pigment producing melanocytes.
Once this happens, there are some treatment options. But none that are long lasting or seen as a cure. It is thus important to get all the information possible. As well as test for any autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, it is recommended that people with vitiligo take care to protect themselves from the sun by wearing high SPF sunscreen and protective clothing.
This is because pigmentation is one of the bodies natural barriers against sun damage and in turn skin cancers. Other treatment options include the use of ultraviolet light treatment and steroids. What ever method of treatment you choose to use. It is important to be vigilant with your skincare and skin protection.
Over the counter treatment options
Apart from what your doctor or dermatologist recommends there are some over the counter options one can also try. These include vitamin A (retinol), vitamin C and folic acid. Just make sure to ask your dermatologist or doctor for advice on which products would work best for you. As each case is unique. Some people with vitiligo also opt to cover the white spots on their body with make up depending on the severity. Thankfully there are a number of great makeup brands and products to cover and protect the skin.
However it is important to note that vitiligo does not make you ugly or undesirable. You need only look at well know top model Winnie Harlow for inspiration. As a famous face living with vitiligo. Winnie often struts runways with her vitiligo on show.