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Can Vitiligo be triggered by stress?

Patients who have been diagnosed with vitiligo may not only feel self-conscious about their appearance, but may wonder how the condition developed. Vitiligo is a condition that can impact patients through the loss of skin pigmentation. Skin pigmentation is developed through melanocytes. When an autoimmune disorder causes the destruction of these melanocytes, it can impact the color of the skin. Vitiligo may present as small or large areas where the skin pigmentation has decreased considerably.

What causes vitiligo?

There are more and more studies today on the cause or trigger of conditions such as vitiligo. Some researchers believe that there is a link between psychological stressors and the development of vitiligo. Other reasons why a patient may develop vitiligo include:

  • Contact with specific chemicals (germicidal detergents, insecticides, etc.)
  • Damage to the skin (cuts, sunburn, etc.)
  • Hormonal changes during adolescence or pregnancy
  • Genetics / hereditary
  • Mixture of genetic and environmental factors

Research continues in an effort to pinpoint the cause of this condition and to determine that factors put a patient at risk of developing vitiligo. While not a lot is known about the condition, outside of the fact that melanocytes are reduced due to the immune system, that doesn’t mean that experienced dermatologists do not understand the condition enough to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment option.

Treatments for vitiligo

While the condition cannot be treated or cured, it can be improved and made less noticeable. This can be done in a number of different ways.

  • Regular use of sunscreen
  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Steroid medications
  • Cosmetics (foundation, etc.)

Many of these may help patients feel less self-conscious about their condition and improve their appearance. This helps men and women enjoy a better quality of life without feeling embarrassed about the changing colors of the skin.

Schedule an appointment

If you reside in the areas of Islamorada and Key West, Florida, now is a great time to connect with our dermatological staff to discuss vitiligo and related triggers. Call (305) 664-8828 to request a visit at one of our convenient office locations. We are always accepting new and existing patients at Keys Dermatology.

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