Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects pigment cells in the body and affects people from all walks of life. It occurs when the body’s melanocytes – cells responsible for producing pigment – ​​suddenly stop producing pigment and lead to discoloration of the skin. A recent study suggests that certain chemicals found in household products can increase the risk of developing vitiligo fourfold. In this article, we’ll explore how these products can influence your risk of vitiligo and give you tips on how you can reduce your likelihood of getting this skin condition.

Understanding Sudden Onset Vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by the appearance of depigmented white patches on the skin. The exact cause of vitiligo is still unknown. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells that are responsible for causing the skin to tan or darken when she is exposed to sunlight.

In other words, vitiligo occurs when the production of melanin stops in a particular area of ​​the body due to the destruction of melanocytes. As a result, this area appears lighter than the surrounding skin. It should be noted that vitiligo can affect any part of the body, any age group, and both genders equally. However, it tends to show up more visibly on areas that have been exposed to sunlight. Also, although it does not cause physical pain or discomfort, it can cause emotional distress due to its visible appearance.

The most common form of vitiligo is focal vitiligo, which affects small parts of the body and usually starts as small spots around certain areas like the mouth or eyes. Another type of vitiligo is segmental vitiligo, which comes on suddenly and in greater amounts than focal vitiligo and usually occurs more frequently on one side of the body, such as down an arm or leg. Finally, generalized vitiligo affects large parts of your body and is often the result of an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus.

A recent study has just revealed certain components that can also trigger vitiligo.

Under the direction of Nehla Rmadi, a case-control study was conducted on patients with vitiligo, performed over a 6-month period, and included socio-demographic characteristics, environmental and occupational chemical exposure data, and medical characteristics. These patients were initially diagnosed by a dermatologist through an examination and Wood’s light, then continued to be under the observation of the CHU Hedi Chaker of Sfax throughout the period.

Living in a polluting environment could increase the risk of vitiligo 3 times.

“Living near a polluted site offers very few benefits, but one of the disastrous consequences is an increased risk of vitiligo. According to our research, the risk was three times higher in people living in better air quality conditions. A host of other studies have crossed multiple disciplines and populations to show that the incidence of vitiligo in people living in contaminated areas is generally higher than in individuals unaffected by this pollution. It is clear that the negative effects of air pollution manifest themselves in many areas, including our skin. »

Phenols and catechols found in certain household and cosmetic products could increase the risk of vitiligo 4 times.

The same study on the causes of vitiligo recently found that the use of certain household chemicals poses a serious risk to individuals. These chemicals have been reported to be present in a variety of products, including hair dye, rubber sandals, and colored toothpaste. It turns out that chemical vitiligo, an industrial condition, can also be induced by these toxins. The chemicals that would present this risk are mainly phenols used in production processes, which could explain the correlations between household cleaning products and the development of vitiligo.

Even more, certain antibiotics could increase the risk of vitiligo 5 times.

“Our study revealed an unexpected risk factor for vitiligo: repeated use of antibiotics. Our results suggest that antibiotics, by acting on the immune system and skin microbiome, can interfere with pigment production. Additionally, we found that chemical leucoderma was the result of exposure to chemicals such as hydroquinone in skin lightening creams. However, due to the limitations presented by the passage of time, we cannot accurately quantify the degree of exposure, which makes this assessment questionable. »

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