Are People with Vitiligo at higher risk of contracting Coronavirus?

coronavirus and vitiligo

We have received a few questions regarding coronavirus, COVID-19. People with vitiligo are simply asking if they are at higher risk of contracting the novel virus, which is responsible for an ongoing pandemic. Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disorder, which means that someone with vitiligo has an immune system that is somehow malfunctioning. So, it’s only understandable why people would have such thoughts.

We did some research and found out the general answer to this question as “No.” The primary role of the immune system is to protect you from infections. However, in cases of vitiligo, the immune cells attack the melanocytes even though the cells are not dangerous.

Individuals with vitiligo have an immune response that is too strong against their melanocytes. This is good news from one perspective. People with vitiligo are at a lower risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. This way, the “malfunctioning” immune system in vitiligo decreases your chances of getting skin cancer. This also means you are most likely NOT more susceptible to coronavirus. To put it simply, having vitiligo does not mean your immune system is weak and you are more likely to get the virus.

Act Responsibly

Though people with vitiligo often report fewer infections than their friends and family, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their immune system is strong in every aspect. We do not suggest you shake hands with everybody and ignore the precautionary measure you can take to avoid being infected by the coronavirus.

The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in a seafood, poultry and wild animal market, but it has now appeared in many other countries. These countries now have increasing suspected cases of the respiratory virus. To know what all can be done to prevent the coronavirus, watch out for symptoms like tiredness, difficulty in breathing, high temperature, and a cough and/or sore throat.

Protection from Coronavirus

  • Maintain good hygiene by constantly washing hands with soap and cleaning them with hand sanitizers, especially after coughing, sneezing or using toilets, before handling or preparing food.
  • Avoid direct hand contact with eyes and nose without sanitizing your hands.
  • Wear masks in crowded areas.
  • When coughing and sneezing, use tissues to cover mouth and nose.
  • Dispose of the used tissue in the trash can.
  • Wash up vegetables and fruits before eating them.
  • Keep a good healthy diet, exercise and get enough sleep to enhance the body’s immunity system.

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