A Review on Vitiligo: Pathogenesis, Etiology, Psychological Impacts, and Treatments.
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Vitiligo, a prevalent depigmenting skin condition, currently affects up to 2 percent of people worldwide. The disease often displays chalky-white macules on the skin’s surface caused by melanocytes lost during disease progression. Vitiligo is often genetic and can be expressed in the skin, hair, and nails of the human body. The condition is known to be categorized into two main groups; segmental and nonsegmental. The former group, segmental vitiligo, refers to asymmetrical pigmentation of the skin that doesn’t cross the midline of the body. The latter, nonsegmental vitiligo, is much more symmetrical and the depigmented macules are distributed more evenly around the body. Due to the said appearances of depigmented macules on the skin, vitiligo is frequently written off as a cosmetic issue. However, it can have terrible psychological implications and significantly interfere with daily living. In vitiligo, melanocytes trigger autoimmunity due to their elevated stress response. This causes them to become targeted and destroyed by autoreactive CD8+ T cells; which leads to visible depigmentation. This condition has no cure yet, but has treatments to reduce its appearance. Active research is being conducted on light therapy aimed at reducing the the appearance of depigmented macules associated with vitiligo. Other treatments and interventions such as camouflage therapy and surgery also exist, but are either less effective or doubted to be legitimate. This review compiles the most recent information about vitiligo and makes an effort to provide a summary of the etiology, pathogenesis, and physical and psychological effects of the disorder as well as current treatment investigations.
The article I wrote gives a scientific overview on vitiligo itself, as well as its implications, pathogenesis, treatment options, and more. The article is intended to be easily comprehensible for those not experienced in reading full-fledged medical articles, while also describing the science behind vitiligo.
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