Is vitiligo caused by stress?

Extreme stress and trauma cause vitiligo! Vitiligo turned out to be the most common among pigmentation-related diseases.

A substance called melanin gives the skin its color. The cells that produce this substance are called melanocytes. Damage to melanocytes for various reasons causes vitiligo disease. The skin, which has lost its normal color, forms patches of varying sizes, and the color is usually milky or chalky white.

Giving information about the disease, IU Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Department of Dermatology and Venereal Diseases Head Prof. Dr. Yalçın Tüzün says that the most common pigmentation-related disease is vitiligo.

According to the news of Tülay Karabağ from ntvmsnbc; Stating that the disease usually occurs before the age of 20 and drawing attention to its psychological effects, Prof. Tüzün said, “Vitiligo can have devastating consequences in the individual’s own world and in his relationships with others. The fact that more than half of the patients are under the age of 20 coincides with the period when the person is most concerned with body image. “Vitiligo causes psychological problems when it is very common and is located in visible areas such as the hands and face,” he says.

It is not known exactly what causes vitiligo and by what mechanisms it occurs. prof. Tüzün says that the oldest documents on the disease, which date back to ancient times, are found in the Ebers papyrus.

Is vitiligo caused by stress?

Affecting both sexes equally, vitiligo can be seen in newborn babies as well as a disease that can occur at very late ages. However, half of the patients are in the 10 to 30 age group. Studies show that genetic factor plays an important role in vitiligo. prof. According to the information provided by Tüzün, more than 30 percent of the patients have at least one family member with the disease. On the other hand, there is not a single gene related to vitiligo, there are multiple genes responsible and factors other than genetics are also effective in the formation of the disease. prof. Tüzün states that there are different theories on this subject:

“According to one hypothesis, stress or severe emotional trauma is the factor that initiates vitiligo or worsens the existing disease. According to another hypothesis, toxic substances that occur during the production of melanin trigger the disease, according to another, it occurs as a result of the body’s own immune system attacking melanocytes. Neither of these hypotheses is self-explanatory. Factors such as genetic factors, stress, toxic compounds, infections, immune system disorders all play a role in the development of vitiligo. Most patients attribute the onset of the illness to a specific life event, crisis, loss of work or close family member, accident, or serious illness. In about one-third of cases, the disease develops following a physical injury, such as an incision or bruise.”

The disease, which can cover a limited area as well as the entire body, cannot be fully treated. prof. Tüzün says, “The disease, which causes cosmetic discomfort and stress in the person and is also a social problem, has been tried to be treated with different methods until today. However, an ideal and effective drug has not yet been found for the cause.”

The disease, which can cover a limited area as well as the entire body, cannot be fully treated. prof. Tüzün said, “The disease, which causes cosmetic disorders and stress in the person and is also a social problem, has been tried to be treated with different methods until today. However, an ideal, effective drug for the cause has not yet been found,” he says.

Surgical treatment exhausts the patient

Stating that there are two options for treatment, Dr. Tüzün provides the following information: “Non-surgical treatments are local creams or ointments, oral medications, light treatments and laser. Skin grafts, which can be defined as the transplantation of intact skin islets, and transplantation of melanocyte suspensions are surgical options. In a study we conducted on this subject, we found that the surgical method, although partially effective, is a very difficult method for the patient. Apart from these, lightening the color of intact skin areas (depigmentation), camouflage, and psychotherapy are also treatment options. The duration of treatment varies from 3 to 6 months. This period can be extended up to 1-2 years as long as pigmentation occurs. It can also be applied by combining multiple treatment options. In such combination treatments, side effects are reduced, effectiveness is increased, and the time required for recovery is shortened.”

Treatment success is higher in early intervention

Stating that the success of treatment varies depending on the type of disease, its prevalence, skin color, age of the patient and duration of treatment, Prof. Tüzün says: “In the first place, it should be questioned whether the patient wants treatment or not. It should not be forgotten that even if vitiligo treatment requires a long time and the treatment response is low, even limited success will provide numerous benefits to both the disease and the patient’s psychological state. The localization of vitiligo symptoms in the mouth and genital area, the presence of vitiligo in the family, and the presence of lesions that started with trauma are the features that show a slightly lower response to treatment.

Arm and foot lesions resist treatment

Treatment response is better in younger patients, new-onset disease, and dark-skinned patients. In addition, the location of the lesions also affects the response to treatment. For example, lesions on the face and neck respond better to treatment, while lesions on the trunk, arms, and hands and feet are more resistant to treatment.”

How effective are herbal treatments?

Stating that as an alternative, antioxidants such as topical human placenta extract, vitamin B 12, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid, alpha lipoic acid, ginko biloba and Chinese herbal treatments are used. Dr. Yalçın Tüzün states that it is not enough. Evidence about the effectiveness of these treatment options.