Vitiligo or Leukoderma is a common skin condition in which there is loss of pigment from areas of the skin resulting in irregular white or light pink spots or patches. The skin has normal texture. This occurs due to the malfunctioning of the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, called melanocytes. Vitiligo may appear at any age and may affect anyone despite their gender or ethnicity. Almost 1-2% of the world population has been affected by Vitiligo. Although it is a progressive condition, many people experience years or decades without developing new spots.
Acrofacial Vitiligo is a type of Generalized Vitiligo (the most commonly acquired Vitiligo type, in which there is a wide spread of white patches. It mostly affects face, neck, and bony prominences of hands, legs, axillae and mucosal surfaces). The term Acrofacial Vitiligo refers to the common distribution of milky white or light pink patches in which it spreads in limited parts, away from the center of the body. In Acrofacial Vitiligo the depigmented patches mainly appear on the head, face, hands, and feet. People suffering with Acrofacial Vitiligo usually have a lot of emotional distress, since the disease effects the exposed parts of the body, which socially becomes embarrassing.
Vitiligo is not contagious in any way. The precise cause of this chronic skin disease is not well-understood yet, though it seems to be the result of a combination of genetic, immunologic, biochemical and neurogenic factors. It is often, though not always, seen in families. Though the condition has no other known effects on the body, the psychological and social effects are well documented.
Today, Vitiligo is a treatable condition, though treatment can take some time to regain pigment, and repigmentation may not be 100%. There is more research being conducted than ever before; in the U.S, Europe, and Asia, new technologies and research are changing physicians’ approaches to the condition. It is believed by many experts that with genetic and biomedical technology improving, we will see a greater understanding of Vitiligo, as well as faster and more reliable treatments for this, and other autoimmune conditions very soon.