Vitiligo Causes

It remains unclear what destroy the pigment producing cells (melanocytes) and their subsequent total inactivation and/or disappearance in vitiligo skin. Scientists provide several theories; the most prominent are autoimmune, neurohumoral, related to abnormal detachment of melanocyets from the epidermal layers and autocytoxic. There is no harmony in views, and it is likely that each of them partially contribute to the disease development. The current thought is that vitiligo represents a group of different disorders with a similar outcome: the appearance of white patches in the skin.

The convergence theory states that stress, accumulation of toxic compounds, infections, autoimmunity, genetic predisposition, altered cellular environment and impaired melanocyte migration can all contribute to the vitiligo initiation process. Autoimmune mechanisms are likely to underlie generalized vitiligo, while a more localized phenomenon (i.e. The altered activities of sensitive nerves in the skin) may be responsible for segmental or focal vitiligo.

The definite cause of vitiligo is not clearly known; however, doctors and scientists believe there are certain factors which contribute to the disease:

  • Genetic susceptibility (need not to be familial)

  • Metabolic reasons.

  • Emotional distress

  • Autoimmune disease in which the melanocyte are either damaged or destroyed in the body.

  • Skin injury

  • Burns

  • Inflammatory skin disorders

  • Associated conditions such as Pernicious anemia, Hyperthyroidism and Addison’s disease.

  • Exposure to certain chemicals such as phenol may cause vitiligo