British Skin Foundation - Vitiligo

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Why does it develop?

Postby Guest Posts on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:15 pm

Why exactly does vitiligo develop? Is it something that I may have done to cause it to develop?

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Re: Why does it develop?

Postby Dr Dev Shah on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:59 pm

There are several theories why vitiligo develops, however no one really knows what initiates the condition to occur.

When we look at skin affected with vitligo under the microscope we can see that melanocytes (colour producing cells) are either not present or are not normal and therefore not functioning correctly.

The cuase of this is thought to be either:

1) immune destruction of the cells - your own immune system attacks the melanocytes
2) a problems within the brain skin axis, whereby a nerve can emits chemical that can affect melanocytes
3) an abnormal process of producing melanin in the skin - whereby the pathway becomes destructive
4) there is a intrinsic abnormality of the melanocytes

Again these are theories and what actually initiates the melanocytes to start dying or becoming deficient is very difficult to know
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