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Vitiligo Information - Risk Factors, Symptoms & Effects of Vitiligo

Vitiligo Causes - Genetics responsible for Vitiligo Pigmentation

There are many different types of theories that abound as causes of vitiligo. Although most doctors are of the belief that there is not one particular factor that causes vitiligo, there is strong evidence to suggest that those individuals afflicted with vitiligo acquire a set of three genes that make these individuals sensitive to de-pigmentation.

One of the most widely acknowledged opinion is that the de-pigmentation common to vitiligo takes place because vitiligo is an autoimmune disease. In the case of this theory, the individual's immune system opposes against the body's own organs and tissues. When this happens, the individual's body gives rise proteins known as cytokines that modify the pigment-producing cells, eventually causing those cells to die. Another popular theory that some researchers hold is that melanocytes destroy themselves without any rhyme or reason. While still another theory propounds that nerve endings in the skin tissues discharge a chemical that proves to be toxic to the melanocytes thus causing the abnormality.

Some medical analysts even believe that that a singled out particular event such as extreme and severe sunburn or severe emotional distress triggers vitiligo; however, such events have not yet been scientifically proven as causes of vitiligo. And some simply believe that vitiligo happens or occurs through a combination of genetic and environmental constituents.

One common factor that stands out among all the theories is that genetics plays an important role as a causal factor of vitiligo. Inheritance almost certainly seems to be a decisive etiological factor as approximately 30 percent of affected individuals with vitiligo have family members who also experience from the same condition. Other theories involve enzymatic self-destroying agents, autoimmune processes, and unnatural neurogenic stimuli.

In some patients there seems to be a connection between vitiligo and other abnormalities that it often accompanies such as thyroid health problems like hyperthyroidism, pernicious anemia or a low level of red blood cells caused by failure of the body to absorb vitamin B12, Addison's syndrome or adrenocortical insufficiency, meningitis, diabetes mellitus, photophobia, hearing problems, alopecia areata or patches of baldness, uveitis, chronic candidiasis, and also halo nevi. The most frequently reported causative component is usually a stressful physical or psychological problem such as extreme sunburn, general surgery, pregnancy, suffer loss of a job, loved one, or some other origin of distress. In some cases, chemical factors, like phenols or catechols, is also likely to cause this condition.