Vitiligo Contagious

Vitiligo Contagious

Vitiligo is a harmless, but chronic skin disorder or condition characterized by the loss of melanin, which is the pigment responsible for giving color to the skin, hair, and eyes. This skin disorder is also known as leucoderma. The loss of melanin causes the formation of white patches on the skin leading to appearance of patchy skin. These skin patches are known as leucoderma or vitiligo patches.

Vitiligo can affect any part of the body, including the scalp, face, and genitals and can spread all over the body. It mostly starts as small macules. So often, they do not increase in size either. Not all cases of vitiligo spread all over or rapidly. Some stay limited to a certain section of skin or spread rather slowly. The severity of the case and the speed of its spread varies from person to person. As already mentioned, the nature of the spread is not predefined. In some cases, it remains localized to a specific area, while in some other cases, it spreadsaggressively all over the body.

Vitiligo is not a life-threatening disorder. This disorder affects the appearance of a person and has huge psychological and emotional impact on the person.It affects the quality of life, self-esteem, confidence of the person.

Vitiligo and it's Causes

It is to be noted that the exact cause of vitiligo is unknown as yet, but there are speculations about the triggers such as combination of genetics, stress, environmental and autoimmune factors.

Types of Vitiligo

The skin disorder vitiligo can be divided into types based on its nature, spread, and severity. They are as mentioned below. Let us have a quick look at these.

  • Generalized: The generalized type is the most common form of leucoderma. It causes macules on various parts of the body.
  • Universal: This type of leucoderma is rare. The universal leucoderma causes almost 80% of the skin to not have pigment.
  • Focal: This is a rare type of macule developing in a smaller area.
  • Segmental: In this type only one side of the body or any one area is affected, it could be either one of the hands or legs, face, etc.
  • Trichome: In this type, there is a bullseye pattern which appears as a white or a colorless center, with an area of light pigmentation, and then an area of natural skin tone.
  • Mucosal: Mucosal leucoderma as the name suggests affects mucous membranes of the mouth and/or genitals.

Vitiligo – Is it contagious ?

No, absolutely not, vitiligo is not a contagious skin disorder. Vitiligo is a skin condition caused due to lack of melanin, the pigment, which is responsible for giving color tone to the skin, eyes, hair. So often, we come across people with vitiligo in our society, our work place, friend circle, acquaintances, family. We meet and greet them very normally. It does not spread through touch or physical contact. It does not spread through air either. We, as a society need to make efforts to make vitiligo more acceptable and work towards making the person having vitiligo feel comfortable in his or her own skin. As it is not contagious, society by large should make more efforts towards making a vitiligo patient feel one among us and not isolate the person. There is no need to isolate the person due to the fear of spread. We can move freely and interact closely and normally with them.

Vitiligo Treatments

Any form of treatment for treating vitiligo is unnecessary from a medical perspective as the condition is not harmful to one's physical health. There is no need of any medications or vaccinations either as it does not spread from one person to another. It is not contagious. People with vitiligo more often choose treatment if it is widely spread on the body and visible to others and causing any emotional trauma or lack of self-esteem and confidence. Treatment is mostly a chosen mode to address the cosmetic aspect of the condition along with improving the emotional well-being of the patient.

Products such as Calcineurin inhibitors, topical Janus kinase inhibitors, corticosteroids, UV comb (UV-311), Portable UV Therapy Units, hand and foot unit and whole-body phototherapy units are also used in the treatment of vitiligo. The treatment mode can be broadly classified into major 5 types and they are as follows:

  • Medications.
  • Light therapy.
  • Depigmentation therapy.
  • Surgery.
  • Counseling.
Summary

Vitiligo can be safely said as a benign skin condition or disorder which does not have any harmful or life-threatening effects on the overall health and body of the individual. Apart from this, vitiligo is not contagious either. It does not spread to others through physical contact or air. It mainly affects the appearance of the skin causing a patchy, unpleasant look. As it is not a contagious disorder, patients need not be isolated. Irrespective of this, the patient needs to consult a health care provider and follow their recommendations and suggestions for managing vitiligo. The treatment options and the effectiveness vary from person to person. With wide variety of treatment options available, the dermatologist will go with the treatment most suitable for the person. Most importantly, it is to be noted that vitiligo is a benign skin condition having no harmful effects for the patient nor any harmful effects for those who interact with the patient. With the advancement of medicine and technology, there are better innovative options available to treat vitiligo and enable the patient to lead a happy, content life.

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