Vitiligo more than a skin-deep disease
My sister and I have struggled with a mild case of vitiligo for years. As kids, doctors directed us to corrective makeup for relief.
To this day, experts are still unsure about what exactly causes vitiligo.
According to NIH (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases), vitiligo causes white patches on your skin. It can also affect your eyes, mouth, and nose. It occurs when the cells that give your skin its color are destroyed. No one knows what destroys them. It is more common in people with autoimmune diseases, and it might run in families. It usually starts before age 40.
The white patches are more common where your skin is exposed to the sun. In some cases, the patches spread. Vitiligo can cause your hair to gray early. If you have dark skin, you may lose color inside your mouth.
Using sunscreen will help protect your skin, and cosmetics can cover up the patches. Treatments for vitiligo include medicines, light therapy, and surgery. Not every treatment is right for everyone. Many have side effects. Some take a long time. Some do not always work.
But in recent years, Chantelle Winnie and many others like her have given us a new perspective on living with vitiligo. Kudos to her for embracing her skin condition and inspiring others to live free of the stigma attached to vitiligo.