About 1% of the world’s population is living with vitiligo. Although the chronic skin disorder does not typically cause other than purely cosmetic symptoms, it can cause low self-esteem and depression. People with vitiligo are completely healthy, however, the change in appearance can affect them emotionally, especially those who are younger and more concerned about their appearance. The good news is that there are things you can do to manage it more effectively.
Though there is no cure for vitiligo, there is a lot vitiligo fighters can do at home to make vitiligo less visible and help prevent the skin condition from spreading.
1. Protect the skin from the sun
Since vitiliginous skin burns more easily, it’s important that you protect your skin whenever you go outdoors. If your arms are largely affected by vitiligo, wear protective clothing. You can choose a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt. If you live in a warmer climate, choose cotton pants over Bermuda shorts. To cover facial vitiligo, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Apply sunscreen to all areas of the body that are not covered by clothing. You can shop for a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. As far an SPF is concerned, it has to be 30 or higher. Remember to reapply every two hours if you remain outdoors after swimming or sweating.
2. Avoid tanning
Very much like the sun, tanning beds also emit damaging Ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer. And, if you have a light skin tone, tanning can make your vitiligo stand out even more.
Alternatively, safely add color to your skin. If you desire to cover patches, consider using a concealing cream or makeup. For the best results, always look out for waterproof skin camouflage. If you want the color to last longer, try a self-tanner or skin dye with dihydroxyacetone. However, it’s always best to ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
3. Don’t get a tattoo
Tattoos ultimately wound the skin as they are done with gun puncturing the skin with a needle that has ink in it. Because of this trauma, you may get a new patch of vitiligo around the inked area, after 10 to 14 days of getting the tattoo.
4. Don’t expose your skin to physical trauma
As mentioned in various blogs on this website, trauma to the skin in the form of scrapes, cuts or burns can cause you new white patches. Yes, accidents happen, still do your best to avoid injuring your skin.
Apart from above-mentioned tips, always reduce stress and eat a balanced, nutritional diet to regulate your immune system. To manage stress, make the most of techniques like deep breathing or meditation. If you feel ashamed or self-conscious about changes to your appearance, connect with others with vitiligo or join a vitiligo support group.