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Vitiligo is a mysterious disease that strikes children and adults alike, and causes white patches of skin on various parts of the body that stem from an unknown cause. There are theories as to why vitiligo in children and adults exists, such as the condition being an autoimmune disease or a hereditary illness, but these have not been proven. The best treatments for vitiligo in children follow the same protocol as treating vitiligo in adults, and include avoiding tanning to the skin to make the white patches less apparent and to use reversal techniques such as topical steroid therapy. It is also recommended that when treating vitiligo in children there are certain therapies available to treat the emotional aspects of the disease.
When vitiligo is presented in an individual, it is the result of the destruction of melanocytes in the skin and a deviation of the correct color of pigments in the skin. These pigments collectively discolor into a shade of white and are evident in random patterns and patches on the skin. As there is no known cause of this disease, the best way to treat vitiligo in children is to use techniques that will cover or camouflage the skin if the visual aspects become too much of a problem for the sufferer. Wearing long sleeves or pants may hide the white patches of skin on the legs and arms, and avoiding tanning of the skin by wearing protective clothing or safe sunscreen will also help minimize the difference between the darkness of the natural skin and the white visual of the vitiligo condition.
One therapy that uses steroid creams may be useful for those in the initial stages of vitiligo due to their effects on repigmentation, or reversing the symptoms of vitiligo and recoloring the pigments to their original settings. When dealing with vitiligo in children, doctors will often prescribe mild versions of the steroid creams, utilizing a stronger prescription for adults. Side effects of these creams might include streaks and lines on the skin, especially in thin-skinned areas such as the face. Cosmetics may be a safer way to hide the vitiligo in children.
Counseling therapies are recommended for children suffering from vitiligo due to the emotional aspects of the disease affecting their looks and perception of themselves. Dealing with the emotional aspects of any disease is especially important to provide healing in all parts of the person, both body and mind. Helping children realize their bodies are just as capable as those not suffering from vitiligo is a step forward to becoming emotionally free from the effects of the visual aspects of the disease. Utilizing prevention strategies for emotional downfalls through therapy or emotional freedom techniques are also useful for preventing social isolations to help hide their bodies.
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