What are the Causes of Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin disorder, characterized by a deficiency of melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for pigmentation, causing white patches to appear in different parts of the body. The same kind of white patches may also appear on the retina, the mucous membranes, and hair that grows out of affected patches may also grow out as white in color.
What causes vitiligo is not known yet, however, scientists and researchers have proposed different theories to aid understanding of the disorder. Some believe for genes to play a large role in causing vitiligo, while others are of the view that it may be caused by an autoimmune disease, prompted by sunburn or a possible detrimental effect of stress. Another theory suggests that a possible cause of vitiligo can also be a combination of environmental constraints and genetics. However, this particular theory does not carry much validity to date.
Here are some of the more decipherable, possible causes of vitiligo:
One of the plausible explanations on causes of vitiligo happens to be heredity factors. Some individuals with this skin disorder may have acquired it through their genes. The ideology behind such is that there may be some genes present in the body which are responsible for beholding an immune system disorder which may potentially lead to vitiligo. However, which genes exactly are to be questioned, has not been discovered yet.
Another theory proposed forth on explaining the causes of vitiligo, describe it to be an autoimmune disease. The theory states that vitiligo is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system of the body itself begins to attack the melanocytes and destroys them. Since melanocytes are the cells responsible for making pigments in the skin, with these cells destroyed, the body may begin to develop vitiligo.
Stress and Sunburns
Another potential cause of vitiligo could be stress or sunburns. In a survey conducted, many patients reported for symptoms of vitiligo to emerge after they had undergone some sort of emotional turmoil or stressful event in their lives or after experiencing rash sunburn. The report from which the survey was obtained, displayed results with 62.5% of the participants relating the onset of their condition to emotional stress and upheavals. However, a more plausible explanation here would be that just stress alone may not be a defining cause of vitiligo, but it could possibly be a factor prompting the onset of this skin disorder in individuals who already have the genes that may be prone to vitiligo.