Vitiligo is a skin problem which starts forming white patches on different parts of the body. This is an autoimmune disease which means the body starts attacking its cells. But some thought that this issue can increase the risk of skin cancer. In this guide, we will share whether vitiligo can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Vitiligo is a skin issue which can start forming white patches on the skin. The area in which the problem starts do not have melanocytes and the cells contain melanin. This is responsible for giving color to the skin.
These patches on the skin are more prone to get a sunburn. But that does not mean people who have Vitiligo can develop skin cancer. Here, we will let you know the relation between skin cancer and Vitiligo.
What the research show about this?
- The cells melanin act as a protective layer for the skin. It helps in blocking the ultraviolet rays to some extent. It is true that when the skin gets damaged because of UV rays it can result in sunburn and skin cancer.
- People get a sunburn if their skin is light as compared to those who have dark skin.
Does it mean Vitiligo can protect the skin?
- A study has shown that when people develop Vitiligo the patches appear on both sides of the body. The probability is very low that a person can develop skin cancer as well as non-melanoma skin cancer It means there is something about this problem which protects the skin from developing skin cancer.
- The research compared the genes linked with Vitiligo and skin cancer. It has been found that both of them have an inverse relation. There is a risk of 3 types of cancer melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
- One theory showed that genes are more susceptible to develop skin cancer but the risk of malignant melanoma is very low.
- Another theory showed that as vitiligo is an autoimmune problem the body starts destroying its cells which eventually result in forming white patches on the skin. The overactive immune system can fight with melanoma cells. But that does not explain that this can protect the body against skin cancers.
Vitiligo patients need to take care of the skin
Although the research shows that with vitiligo give skin protection but that does not mean complete protection is given. Keep in mind it is still important that you should protect the skin whether the patient is suffering from vitiligo or not.
The best choice is to wear sunscreen so that the skin does not get burnt. Also, the skin will not get tanned and skin will not get discolored.