Roughly 2% of the population has the following autoimmune condition.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition in which white patches develop onto the skin. This condition can affect any area of the body. Individuals who have vitiligo have white patches in various areas of the body.
This condition is caused by a loss of pigment (melanin) in the skin. While the root cause is not known, doctors theorize that the cause may be autoimmune. They believe that the body's immune system destroys the pigment forming cells (melanocytes), thus causing the white patches on the skin.
What are the risk factors for Vitiligo?
The onset of this condition develops early in life, when the individual is between 10 and 30 years of age. It is believed that if a family member has this condition, others are at risk for developing vitiligo. Individuals who have other autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto's, are at risk for vitiligo.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
-Rapid loss of skin pigmentation on various areas of the body.
-Changes in eyelids
-Changes in hair health
Diagnosis and treatment
Vitiligo can be easily diagnosed by a doctor during a physical examination. Vitiligo has no cure, but there are ways to improve the appearance of the affected area.
Some of those treatments include:
-Re-pigmentation via UV light therapy
The above photo is of a model who has vitiligo. Chantelle Brown-Young rose to fame when she appeared on America's Next Top Model. During a 2014 interview with the Today show, she said the following:
“I definitely hope and I feel that I am inspiring, but I don’t like the word role model. I feel like people put too much on the title of a role model ... you should be careful what you choose to see as a role model, whereas inspiration can come from anywhere.
The only person that can make you feel that you aren’t beautiful is you. You can’t let someone else lower your self-esteem because that’s what it is — self-esteem, you need to first love yourself before you have anybody else love you.”