Does your little angel suffer from skin discoloration? She may be suffering from Vitiligo! Is Vitiligo dangerous? Can babies get vitiligo? What can you do about it? If you were waiting on tenterhooks for the answers, wait no more! Read our post and learn all about Vitiligo in babies.
Skin problems and babies enjoy a healthy relationship as most babies suffer from some form of rashes. I know it scares all you moms, but don’t worry! Here we address all your questions and doubts about the skin disease Vitiligo.
What Is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo or leukoderma is a typical health condition that affects skin pigmentation of infants. The destruction of skin cells that create the coloration of the outer skin leads to white patches on the skin’s surface. Vitiligo can also affect the other parts of the body, including nostrils, eyeballs or mouth. Even the hair can turn white (1).
Types Of Vitiligo:
The Vitiligo disease splits into two broad categories, which include,
1. Localized Vitiligo:
The localized Vitiligo has three patterns: focal, segmental and mucosal. The focal pattern only whitens a few areas of the body. The segmental pattern whitens either the left or the ride side of the body. The mucosal pattern affects the mucous membranes of the body.
2. Generalized Vitiligo:
Generalized Vitiligo has four patterns: Acrofacial, Vulgaris, Mixed, and Universal. The acrofacial pattern affects the skin of the hands and feet while the Vulgaris pattern whitens all parts of the body.
Symptoms Of Vitiligo In Babies:
Some of the common signs signs of vitiligo in infants are
- Skin discoloration.
- Pigmentation or whitening of the scalp hair, eyelashes or eyebrows.
- Whitening of mucous membranes.
- Change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball or retina.
- Whitening patches around the armpits and navel.
- Loss of hair (alopecia).
[ Read: Tips To Prevent Hair Fall In Babies ]
Skin Areas Mostly Affected by Vitiligo:
The skin areas commonly affected by Vitiligo are
- The skin around your mouth and eyes
- Fingers and wrists
- The skin around the mouth and eyes
- Inside the mouth (mucous membranes)
[ Read: Skin Care For Babies ]
Causes Of Vitiligo In Babies:
There are several factors that can cause Vitiligo in infants. Some causes include:
1. Autoimmune Disorder:
The immunity system of your baby becomes overactive, and it tends to destroy the melanocytes of the skin cells, which thereby affect the skin’s coloration process.
2. Genetic Oxidative Stress Imbalance:
Due to some genetic imbalance, your baby’s skin loses its coloration ability, and he suffers from Vitiligo.
3. Excessive Exposure To Sun:
Sunburn or high exposure to Sun can destroy the skin pigmentation cells of your baby, and lead to Vitiligo.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Sunburn In Babies ]
4. Chemical Exposure:
Using harmful chemicals like soaps and shampoo may induce problems skin discoloration in your baby’s body.
Diagnosing Vitiligo In Babies:
Dermatologists may suggest taking few medical tests to diagnose your baby with vitiligo. Some of these tests include:
- Antinuclear antibody or ANA testing
- Blood tests (Thyrotropin testing)
- Take a small sample (biopsy) of the affected skin (2)
- Eye checkup (3)
Treating Vitiligo In Babies:
Here are few pointers to help treat babies with vitiligo.
1. Steroid Intake:
Most skin specialists suggest increasing the intake of Vitamin D and steroids to treat infant Vitiligo properly. The steroid helps in re-pigment discolored areas, and the Vitamin D helps replace dead skin cells.
2. Topical Corticosteroid Creams:
You can use these skin creams on your baby’s skin to initiate re-pigmentation of the skin cells.
3. Oral PUVA Therapy:
Oral PUVA therapy can help treat severe Vitiligo problems in infants (4).
[ Read: Hives In Babies ]
Some tips to help prevent your infant from contracting Vitiligo:
- Change her food habits and ensure that your surroundings are hygienic. You have to make sure your baby is clean and healthy and consumes healthy and nutritious food.
- Excessive intake of Vitamin C can trigger spreading of Vitiligo in infants. Minimize your infant’s intake of Vitamin-C enriched foods if you encounter problems with skin whitening (5).
Has your little one suffered from skin whitening or Vitiligo? What preventive measures did you take? Please share your valuable advice with other mommies here!