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World Vitiligo Day 2022: 8 Common Myths And Facts About Vitiligo

World Vitiligo Day 2022: 8 Common Myths And Facts About Vitiligo
World Vitiligo Day 2022

Here are some correct facts that can help remove the social stigma associated with vitiligo.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : June 24, 2022 10:10 AM IST

According to Dr Sakshi Srivastava, Senior Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Jaypee Hospital (Noida), many misconceptions revolve around vitiligo, a condition characterised by milky-white patches on the skin. Since these misconceptions gave rise to many doubts and false beliefs, knowing the correct facts can help remove the social stigma.

  • Myth: Consumption of certain food items can cause vitiligo.
  • Fact: This is false as, over many years, many people have believed that eating white-coloured food items or sour foods like citrus or drinking milk shortly after eating fish causes vitiligo. However, there's simply no scientific proof to confirm the above theory.
  • Myth: Vitiligo is a contagious disease.
  • Fact: Vitiligo is not contagious, and it does not spread through close contact, touch, sharing personal items, saliva, etc.
  • Myth: Vitiligo is a 100% curable condition.
  • Fact: It is unpredictable and hence can't be said for sure. The treatment of vitiligo is difficult and slow; not all patients respond similarly. In addition, vitiligo is of different types with varying percentages of durability.
  • Myth: Vitiligo is tough to diagnose.
  • Fact: Vitiligo is a relatively straightforward clinical diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on the characteristic type of the skin lesions, which is hypopigmented, non-scaly, chalky white macules with distinct margins and of typical distribution pattern.

  • Myth: Vitiligo is an uncommon condition in the Indian population.
  • Fact: In India, vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder, affects 0.25 to 2.25 per cent of the population, with symptoms peaking in people under 21.
  • Myth: People with vitiligo are less intelligent or physically capable.
  • Fact: Vitiligo is an exclusive skin condition and has no connection to either physical or mental disorders.
  • Myth: All white patches are vitiligo.
  • Fact: No, not all white patches are vitiligo. There is a vast list of all white spot disorders. Nevus, post-burns, leprosy, tinea versicolor (fungal infection), and others are a few examples of potential causes of white patches.
  • Myth: Genetics also play an essential role in vitiligo.
  • Fact: A few studies in India and worldwide have found a strong link between the development of vitiligo and a family history of autoimmune illnesses and the occurrence of vitiligo.

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