Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the cells responsible for creating pigment in an individual. The disease appears by white spots developing on the skin. Vitiligo can appear quite suddenly, but studies suggest that its cause can be extreme stress and that there are genetic ties in the disease. Furthermore, unfortunately, it is difficult to treat vitiligo, and many patients will not respond to treatment or be unable to reverse. Steroid creams are the most common treatment for vitiligo, but there is no guarantee that the body’s immune system will heal itself or fix the non-pigmented skin with their use.
The Effect of Dry Skin on Vitiligo
Vitiligo becomes worse in individuals with dry skin. This is because the body’s immune system must work to keep the skin healthy rather than working to right itself and stop from destroying the cells that cause pigmentation.
Additionally, dry skin can result from exposure to the sun. Exposing vitiligo spots to the sun results in their becoming burned because they are unable to darken in response to the sun’s rays. This means that the white patches will turn bright red and have sun damage when exposed to the sun. Again, here the body must fix damaged skin rather than work on stopping destroying pigment causing cells.
They key to preventing vitiligo from becoming worse is to make sure that skin is clean, dry and moisturized. Use a hypo-allergenic moisturizer and sunscreen to protect the delicate skin that is no longer able to protect itself. If you are uncertain which lotions to use, speak with your physician.