Depigmentation of the skin is called uneven staining of the epidermis, due to a lack of coloring matter - melanin. The loss of skin pigmentation properties may be due to genetics, exposure to ultraviolet rays, or a serious dermatological disease. The main symptom of pathological changes is the presence of clarified areas on the surface of the epidermis. Clarified spots may have different forms of severity, usually it depends on the stage of the disease. With this problem it is worth contacting a dermatovenerologist or a dermatologist.
Features of skin depigmentation
Depigmentation of the dermis suggests a violation of pigment metabolism in the human body. The disease can manifest itself in two forms: achromia (total absence of a coloring matter), hypochromia (melanin deficiency in epithelial cells).
The appearance on the skin of the clarified areas is considered by physicians to be the only sign of depigmentation. Since melanin is present in the hair, the iris and the inner ear, their color also changes. Depigmentation can be complete (lightened areas on the skin do not have gaps, are solid) and incomplete (uneven alternation of bleached spots with normal skin).
The disease of the epidermis is divided into a stable and temporary phase. In the first case, the restoration of the functioning of melanocytes is impossible. Temporary depigmentation is amenable to medical treatment.
The main causes of the disease
There are acquired and congenital causes of dermatological disease. They are interrelated with the absence of melanin in certain areas of the skin. In rare cases, in the epithelium cells there is no important pigment at all, an example would be albinism, which is innate.
Acquired causes include: chronic skin diseases; inflammations; long-term corticosteroid treatment; starvation; gestation period; lack of iron in the blood; autoimmune disorders. Also acquired factors are endocrine dysfunction and dermatological diseases, such as leprosy, streptoderma and psoriasis.
Depigmentation can occur due to a person’s prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays. Doctors can diagnose the pathology, the cause of which is a burn or transferred trauma with skin damage.
Depigmentation of the epidermis
Forms of skin pigmentation disorders are: albinism; vitiligo; idiopathic or teardrop-shaped hypomelanosis; Ito hypomelanosis. Congenital absence of melanocytes is inherited. Pathology features are pronounced achromia or hypochromia, white hair, translucent iris of the eyes, photophobia, pinkish skin tone. Albinism in 90-95% of cases does not cause skin cancer.
Vitiligo is a skin disease in which bleached spots appear on the neck, upper and lower limbs. They can grow, merge and grow throughout the body. Almost white spots are often localized on the knees, elbows, near the mouth and eyes.
The main cause of the disease is considered to be a deficiency of melanocytes. Other factors that influence the onset of pathology include: central nervous system disorders; reduced immunity (vitiligo can develop if the cells responsible for pigmentation are damaged); self-destruction of the coloring matter. Scientists have not yet fully figured out whether a disease is transmitted from parents to children or not.
Idiopathic hypomelanosis can be acquired and congenital. Usually such depigmentation of the epidermis appears in children and adolescents. Spots have a different shape, clear contours are very rare. Drop-shaped hypomelanosis is observed in 60-70% of cases in the fair sex older than thirty years. People with fair skin get sick more often than with dark.
Depigmentation increases after a long tan in the sun. The first sign of pathology is light foci on the legs. The spots are usually oval or round (diameter reaches 1-1.5 centimeters). If the disease progresses, they occur on the chest, abdomen and back. The neck and face remain outside the risk zone (doctors recorded up to 5% of cases when drop-shaped hypomelanosis was localized on the skin of the face and neck).
Ito hypomelanosis is genetically transmitted. Symptoms of the disease usually appear in infancy. Signs of pathology: wavy and zigzag stripes on the epidermis; spots have different sizes; chaotic localization of clarified areas. In adolescence, there are fewer pigments, sometimes they disappear altogether. Ito hypomelanosis is quite often accompanied by a congenital malformation.
Sometimes people have other forms of depigmentation: pebaldism (partial albinism, which is a rare autosomal dominant pathology); Bourneville disease (a rare genetic pathology, a feature of which is damage to the central nervous system, skin lesions, the presence of hamartomas in the internal organs); Phenylketonuria (an amino acid metabolic disorder causes depigmentation of the dermis, a profuse rash).
Depigmentation in children
Uneven staining of the epidermis in children often appears from the moment of their birth. There are cases when a problem occurs as the child grows up and affects only certain areas of the body. Depigmentation of the epidermis is primarily a cosmetic defect that causes the appearance of complexes and internal clips.
Since children's skin has a pale tint, parents cannot always detect pathology from the first days of life. They should monitor the condition of the baby’s epidermis and consult a pediatrician and a dermatologist in a timely manner.
The main causes of skin depigmentation in children
The lack or absence of melatonin can be from birth or occur in adulthood. Depending on the forms of depigmentation, the doctor judges about other possible diseases. For example, in vitiligo, a child can suffer from infectious diseases.
Causes of depigmentation of the skin in children:
- genetic predisposition;
- stressful situations;
- violation of the central nervous system;
- avitaminosis (deficiency of vitamins in the body);
- intoxication and poisoning;
- thyroid problems.
The most common causes of depigmentation in babies are frequent stresses, severe experiences and mental disorders. Vitiligo is usually activated during adolescence. Doctors ascertain that problems with melanin are chronic in nature, there is a long period of time. Infants develop white specks of various shapes, often with rounded or even edges.
Adult women and men during skin depigmentation should consult a dermatovenereologist. This doctor diagnoses dermatological and venereal diseases, understands the prevention and prevention of the development of serious pathologies. The specialist also studies the relationship of diseases with pathological and abnormal conditions.
A doctor can refer a patient with depigmentation of the skin for a series of tests: allergy tests, blood tests for antibodies and antigens, scraping, and seeding on microflora. The specialist may appoint a patient dermatoscopy examination of skin lesions.
Methods for studying human skin are: palpation (the doctor determines the density and turgor of the dermis, its temperature, the presence of puffiness, nodules); assessment of the color of the epidermis (the doctor visually assesses the condition of the nails, mucous membranes, hair, looks for no rash, peeling, cracks and ulcers).
If a specialist has found any pathology, it is worth taking into account their localization, symmetry, size, shape, color, mobility, density. After examining and obtaining the results of laboratory tests and research, the dermatovenerologist writes a conclusion and prescribes an effective therapeutic course.
Depigmentation is very often treated with medication. After removing the main cause of the appearance of spots, the neoplasms also leave the epidermis. The exception is albinism and vitiligo. Spots do not cause a person pain and discomfort. The only disadvantage of pathology is aesthetic unattractiveness and the emergence of complexes.
Uneven staining of the skin appears in people most often before the age of twenty. Very rarely do people seek medical help at the age of 30-40. Human race with skin diseases does not play a special role. According to statistical reports, in men, dermatological diseases develop several times less often than in women.
The risk groups include people: with a genetic predisposition to diseases of the skin; endured a strong stressful situation; with second and third degree burns; with severe sunburns; with autoimmune diseases. With constant visits to tanning beds, the risk of depigmentation of the dermis increases by 2-3 times.
Pathology is not accompanied by painful and itchy sensations. The only problem of vitiligo and albinism is the psychological factor associated with the aesthetic appearance of the spots.
Prevention of skin diseases slows the spread of spots throughout the body, can prevent the emergence of new clarified areas. Doctors recommend starting timely treatment of chronic diseases of the epidermis. Long-term sunbathing (ultraviolet) affects the skin negatively.
In order not to aggravate the problem, patients should avoid injuring the dermis and burns. During childbirth, a woman with depigmentation of the skin should be registered with the attending physician. In case of skin tumors, periodic medical check-ups are mandatory.
When planning a pregnancy, a man and a woman should consult with a geneticist, pass laboratory tests for the presence of genetic predisposition and depigmentation of the skin of the child.
Lightened spots on the skin are considered a failure or a consequence of the influence of external factors. Negative impact on the quality of life and the emotional component of innate depigmentation, since it is almost impossible to cure. Spots do not threaten human health, their development and growth can be stopped if you engage in prevention and follow the advice of specialists. With regular examinations from a dermatovenerologist with skin diseases, you can live until old age.