The skin condition is vitiligo and it affects people of all ages. The ability to deal with this is easier for adults but with children there are still societal concerns from which a child has to develop and learn.
No one really knows the exact cause for the problem and catching it before it happens is almost impossible. The development of white spots on skin can be alarming, especially in children with dark skin.
It isn’t a product of the environment so much as that it’s hereditary in cases where it impacts children. There are some things that research has discovered which will provide better insight as to why this happens.
Research On Vitiligo
Whether or not it is the exposure to sunlight, the studies show that the body’s immune system has attacked melanocytes (if the condition develops over time) or there are none in the first place.
These are the cytes which produce pigment for the skin. This doesn’t impact the entire body but at the most extreme case it creates large segmented areas of white patches on skin.
This has the appearance of severe eczema and often develops around the lips, eyes, nostrils, genitalia. The levels of the condition are different for everyone and sometimes they have the appearance of healed burned tissue without the deformity.
Because of the lack of pigment, there is less protection from sunlight exposure. For this reason, the exposure has to stay at a minimum to prevent injury of sensitivity. This can be maintained for longer periods of time with different treatments such as:
Sunblock : This is very common and affective to block the UV rays, but will need to be maintained after a while.
Camouflage/Cosmetics : If there is any concern about the child’s appearance, covering up the skin with these cosmetics is a good temporary solution. But, just like the sunblock, it would have to be maintained and re-applied.
Transplant : This is a breakthrough procedure where the melanocytes are transplanted from one part of the body and applied to the areas with white spots on skin. The cytes are cultured and grafted into the area. It was first completed to 70% success in the 90′s but is currently still being researched and considered.
Artificial Light Therapy : If there is any reason to think that the child is old enough to recover the lost pigment, there is a therapy that uses different forms of artificial light on a daily basis with topic cream that hopes to help stimulate the production of pigment. This has shown results over time.
The main goal here is going to be protection. When a child develops vitiligo it is generally going to be a permanent change to their system. There is no signs of danger from the condition as it does not become cancerous.
The research conducted for this condition has brought results over the past few decades and will continue to find more ways to prevent it or recover all of the pigment lost. The differences between an adult and a child having the condition should not make the quality of life any less enjoyable.