Several skin diseases affect people’s lives. Some of these diseases are temporary, though others can be life-threatening as well. Skin is the vital organ in your body that keeps your internal organs safe. You care for your skin, but sometimes everything falls short. Vitiligo is also one such medical condition that affects the pigmentation of the skin. There are many famous people with vitiligo from the entertainment industry and sports.
1. Definition of Vitiligo
It is a long-term skin disease that causes the skin to lose its pigmentation. White patches start developing on the skin when being exposed to the sun. Eventually, the entire skin on the body loses its original color and turns white. Both sides of the skin are affected by this condition. Even the inside of the mouth turns white. About 0.5 to 2 percent of the world’s population is affected by vitiligo. (See 17 Ways to Make your Hair Grow Faster)
2. Causes of Vitiligo
The exact cause behind vitiligo is unknown. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its color. There are not enough working melanocytes in vitiligo to produce sufficient melanin in your skin. It causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair.
But dermatologists consider it to be genetically inherited. However, few underlying causes can trigger this disease. Conditions like autoimmune disease, neurogenic factors, sunburn, stress, and chemical exposure can trigger vitiligo. (Also read What Does It Mean When Your Blood Is Dark Red?)
3. Types of Vitiligo
Normal and famous people with vitiligo can have segmental as well as non-segmental vitiligo. There are two types of vitiligo as explained below:
- Segmental vitiligo is rarer and only found in 10 percent of vitiligo cases.
- It commonly occurs in young people and can spread rapidly.
- It is non-uniform and appears on certain parts of the skin only.
- Non-segmental vitiligo spreads uniformly throughout the body and spreads faster than segmental vitiligo.
- Non-segmental vitiligo is found in 90 percent of total vitiligo cases.
- Non-segmental vitiligo is further classified into five types: focal, universal, generalized, mucosal, and acrofacial.
4. Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms can start from as early as the age of 10, but sometimes they appear in their late twenties or early thirties.
- There are some basic signs of vitiligo, which are pale, patchy, and depigmented skin areas.
- They start occurring on the face and hands in small shapes, but the size of patches increases eventually.
- Some people may also experience itching before a new patch shows up. (See What is a Hair Cowlick?)
5. Diagnosis and Treatment
Medical experts use different tools for various skin conditions for diagnosis and treatment purposes. It makes the treatment phase more worthwhile for the patients.
- While diagnosis, several things need to be made clear about the family history, such as if anyone had vitiligo before, any recent skin infections, or sunburns.
- The doctor uses a special ultraviolet lamp known as a Wood’s Lamp to check the skin patches. It helps in differentiating between vitiligo and other skin conditions. A biopsy can also be performed from the skin samples.
- Treatment will not cure the vitiligo, but it can slow down the process. It works differently for different people depending upon their type of vitiligo and several other conditions.
- Surgery can also be considered as an option. But it is always good to consider other options before the surgery. (See How to treat a Bad Cough?)
6. Names of Famous People with Vitiligo
This medical condition has been experienced by many famous personalities as well. And one of the most prominent among them was Michael Jackson, but there are more. Other famous people are Amitabh Bachchan, Winnie Harlow, Joe Rogan, Thomas Lennon, Rasheed Wallace, Jon Hamm, Steve Martin, Big Krizz Kaliko, Yvette Fielding, Eddie “Among Ed” Tongol Panlilio, Graham Norton, Karl Dunbar, Richard Mark Hammond, Holly Marie Combs.
A few more are Kara Louise Tointon, Hedvig Lindahl, “Fez” Marie Whatley, Scott Jorgensen, Eric Arthur Hammer, Bryan Danielson, Shante Artis, Don Alder, Feng Xiao Gang, Michaela DePrince, Marcus Haran, Édouard Charles Philippe (the ex-prime minister of France, Mayor of Le Havre), late Dudley Moore, J. D. Runnels (American football player from Oklahoma), Tamar Braxton, Mark Andres, aka Sisqo, Jonathan Morris Henson, and Darius Vernon. (See Why do Celebrities like Twitter?)
7. Reasons Why did Michael Jackson Become White
Everyone knows Michael Jackson and has witnessed his journey as well. Apart from his successful music journey, you might wonder why did Michael Jackson become white. But no one knew that he had vitiligo until his dermatologist made a public announcement.
- Michael Jackson developed the disease in 1984 but tried to control it with medicine and hide his patches with makeup. He was a celebrity, and thus he had to maintain his image in front of the cameras to avoid false rumors.
- His appearance was equally important as his dance and songs. But even after trying everything when nothing worked out for him, he decided to speed up the depigmentation.
- And with proper guidance from the dermatologists, he achieved complete depigmentation. But this process made his skin more sensitive.
- He used to get sunburns whenever his skin came in contact with the sunlight. (See Woes of the Bored and Lonely Mind)
8. Psychological Issues
It is commonly seen in vitiligo patients to develop psychological disorders. They start losing self-esteem because of their appearance. In such cases, it is better to seek the help of a psychologist.
It is not a contagious disease, and people with vitiligo can also live a normal and healthy life, like many famous people with vitiligo are. There are still various myths about this health condition. You should try to discourage the spread of such myths and can fill their minds with facts whenever you encounter them. (See How to Heal Yourself Emotionally?)
9. Self-Care Methods to Follow
As there is no absolute cure for vitiligo, you can follow some self-care methods to create a consistent skin tone.
- If a person is diagnosed with vitiligo, then it is essential to wear sunscreen. Many famous people with vitiligo carry sunscreen and cover themselves completely, like Michael Jackson.
- The diet should also be well maintained, excluding alcohol, citrus, and mulberries. The diet can vary depending on the person’s condition and how the body reacts to certain food items. (See How to Breathe through Both Nostrils?)
So there have been various famous people with vitiligo along with the general population. And now we know why did Michael Jackson become white because of this medical condition. It is not a problem to get vitiligo. It is in your heart to throw away the discouragement and shine in your own way. (Also read Are Nootropics Safe?)