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Vitiligo and you - Part 2

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

Continuing where I left off at Part-I of this article, it would be important to understand how vitiligo mentally affects our daily lives. The best way to discuss about it then would be to logically divide our lives in stages and see what sort of challenges vitiligo poses at each such stage. The article also presents ways of dealing with this problem at different stages.

Infancy stage : It is not clear if vitiligo can be present in an infant. This is hugely possible perhaps only due to heredetical reasons. If the problem does occur, as an infant the kid itself is in a stage where it cannot understand the problem and understand others’ reactions to this problem. Grooming such kids as they grow older to grow with a better understanding of this problem is a very important step for the parents at this stage. There is no way in which parents can afford to be grief stricken over the occurance of this problem on their kids. Take it with your stride, enlist way to start combatting the prevalent social menace.

Schooling stage : Any problem surfacing with students has profound impact on their lives at this age. Vitiligo is no different in this case. The social discrimination begins to descend on to the kid and the nature of the situation is compounded, as the impact of this skin problem is also felt by kids of this age. There are all chances that such kids may not perform well at school due to the social pressures, and may even earn low grades. Some even turn into a mental wreck. The only way to get over this problem is to keep the kid occupied in other pastimes which diverts the mind away from the problem the kid is facing. For example a regular gym workout schedule or perhaps games schedules involving just the kid and the parent would help to a large extent. That way we can ensure that the kid atleast has some time in the day where he does not worry about the problem. What happens at school during socializing is something not in control of the parents, but it helps if the parents allow the kid to discuss it out with them if he is feeling low on any given day. The best way probably is to not keep asking the kid about his day at school, to avoid any more tormenting and compounding the stress.

In both stages above, a regular diet with less of sour/citric stuff is helpful in combatting the problem. A dose of psoralen and good exposure to sunlight every morning for about 10-15 minutes will do a world of good. If your country does not provide good sunlight, you might even want to compromise and think of moving to a place that does! Diet and stress situation control are the two key things that can keep the problem stable and prevent the patches from spreading all over the body (in case of partial vitiligo situations)

Adoloscence : This is the age where the individual will be in his early 20s and the seeds of knowledge are sown into his mind. This is the time when the person would be gearing up for making big decisions in life. Vitiligo can strike a nasty blow to this process, stumping the person completely. It could lead to a very depressive situation if not attended to with utmost importance. This is the right time to fill in the individual with knowledge and above all hope, that the problem is not something that is going to take his life away from him. The general immediate concerns would be that of a job and marriage. The former is NOT at all a concern as no organization discriminates you for an opportunity based on a skin condition. The latter however, can be a concern for sometime and would be solved in many different ways. In an ever modernized society its only natural that there would be a person who understands your problem in a tec

hnical sense and is willing to support you. You could still be married with people having the same vitiligo. Always remember that there is a certain give and take in any marriage. You say “YES” because you find something profitable in a relationship with your would-be spouse. The feeling is reciprocal as well from the other side. Having said this then, there would always be a person in this world who you would eventually find one day, and who wants solace from you as an answer to their own problems. The understaning of life and in general the relationships gets only better for people having Vitiligo and they learn to appreciate the small good things which bring cheer in life, rather than money, materialistic comforts and flashy lifestyles!

Having kids: If you are married to a partner without vitiligo, there are less chances your kid will have it too. If no one in your family has had the problem as a heredity, your kid is unlikely to have it too. Even if your kid would probably get this problem down the line sometime in his life, its very immportant that couples with vitiligo, provide a stress free life to their kids and conform to certain specific (non citric) diets, and provide good exercise and sunlight exposure to their kids. If this is done religiously, history wont repeat again.

By this stage any individual would be happy and content with his life that he no more needs to bother about the problem itself! Remember that excessive medication or treatment could be harmful in the longer run, and its always best to use natural sources of Vitamin D such as sunlight and maintain a regular healthy diet and exercise schedule.


For personal support on this issue, you can contact me via the comments form and I shall help you deal with your stress.

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