June 25th is celebrated as "The World Vitiligo Day" across the World.
Vitiligo causes loss of pigmentation in the skin and hair. Vitiligo is seen in an estimated 1 per cent to 4 per cent of the global population.
Vitiligo or Leucoderma, as it is called in India, is a relatively under-researched subject across the globe.
There are different types of Vitiligo depending on the prevalence and location of the patches on the body. Vitiligo is generally painless.
People with Vitiligo are more susceptible to severe sun damage because of the loss of the Melanin Pigment that functions in protecting the body against harsh sunlight.
Vitiligo and culture
Vitiligo is wrongly associated with Leprosy in India and is very often called "White Leprosy" or "Ven Kushtam" or variants of that across India.
In our skin colour-obsessed culture, people with Vitiligo get further ostracized overtly or covertly in many everyday situations. There have been many instances where the potential groom or bride is excluded even because a parent or a relative might have Vitiligo. Vitiligo is also wrongly considered to be genetic when very little proof exists of genetic transmission.
Vitiligo treatment options
There are many treatment methods available including the use of narrow-band ultraviolet light and various types of skin grafting procedures where skin from a coloured part of the body is transferred as whole or as suspensions to uncoloured parts of the body. These treatments are of varying efficacy and various factors including patient age, patch location, etc can affect success. The treatments can go on for many years without results in many cases.
Vitiligo and societal impact
The most serious impact of Vitiligo is social stigma and ostracisation. Vitiligo is certainly not contagious either, but it may cause devastating disfigurement, especially if it occurs in the face, neck or other visible parts of the body.
Camouflage as an option
Various studies have proven that camouflage for patients with Vitiligo not only covers the white patches but also improves their quality of life. Camouflage in Vitiligo refers to the practice of applying makeup or colour to the patches of skin that have lost colour to blend in with natural skin, so the Vitiligo is less visible to onlookers.
Mehendi or Henna has been used in India since centuries in hiding or covering Vitiligo too as it provides colour in uncoloured skin.
While Mehendi is a crude method where one can't get exact colour matches, there are state-of-the-art camouflage products like Microskin, a US FDA approved Australian technology where the exact skin colour shade is matched and the product also stays on the body for days at a time with no side effects. Microskin has high friction and water resistance properties too.
Microskin has been brought to India by Harsha Soundararajan, an NRI from Australia who himself has Vitiligo and had been looking for a suitable solution for over 20 years and found the right solution with Microskin products in Australia. Since he was very satisfied with the product line, he wanted all Indians to benefit from this technology.
Microskin is affordable too with four-pack testers retailing at Rs 400 and 30ml bottles retailing at Rs 1,893. Microskin has 36 readymade shades to choose from, so Microskin is able to cater to all skin shades.
Microskin is a very high tech skin colour system that can be sprayed on with an airbrush or applied by sponge for smaller areas.
Microskin contact details
Microskin has been available in India for two years now and is now available in Bengaluru Sangeetha Ravindran +91 98807 09379; www.microskinindia.com and email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The World Vitiligo Day events are part of continuing attempts at educating and normalizing Vitiligo and its acceptance by various flag bearers in the World Vitiligo Community.
This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article.