Marble cake is any cake with more than one color or flavor. This unique cake takes more time to make, which makes it more desirable. When it comes to humans, multicolored skin is unique, but not desirable.
About one and a half million people in the United States have vitiligo, which is a skin condition where areas of the skin are white or lighter than other skin on the body. It is more noticeable on the skin that is darker than on lighter colored skin.
Unlike a similar skin condition, halo nevus that only has depigmented skin around the mole. Vitiligo does not have a skin lesion in the center but completely covers an area of skin. It can affect hair that grows out of the depigmented skin causing patches of white hair. It doesn’t have any effects on health but can affect self-esteem so coping skills will need to be developed to avoid low self-esteem and depression.
Ingredients for Multicolored Skin
The cells that make color in the skin are melanocytes. These cells can fail to produce the pigmentation that causes skin to be the color that it is. Melanocytes can also be destroyed. The cause of vitiligo is not known but the results of this skin disorder are patches of white or depigmented skin. It usually occurs during the first four decades of a person’s life with men and women being affected equally.
It is believed that the body may be attacking the melanocytes causing vitiligo, which makes it an autoimmune disease if this is the case. There has been speculation about sunburn or excessive stress causing it, but there has been no evidence that these theories are valid, but those conditions can aggravate the condition. It is likely that there is a gene that causes some people to be more susceptible to having multicolored skin. This skin condition can occur anywhere and everywhere on the body.
Areas Affected by Vitiligo
Patches can occur on any skin that has pigment, which includes all skin on the body. Darker skin that looses pigment is more noticeable than light colored skin that looses its color. The following are the most common areas that skin depigmentation can occur:
- Hair that grows from the skin that has lost pigment
- Inside the mouth
- Face and neck
- Arms and torso
Some people also have the depigmentation on their genital and rectum areas. The way the skin looks and the location of the depigmented skin determines the type of vitiligo.
Like with a marble cake there are different flavors or in this case of vitiligo there are two types. One type is segmented, and the other type is non-segmented. These are the differences between the two:
- Occurs on one area (segment) of the body
- Less common than non-segmented type
- 50% chance of hair loss where the skin is depigmented
- Onset occurs in early years
- Stops after a year of progression
- Most common type
- Occurs on both sides of the body
- Originates on hands, wrists, fingertips, eyes, mouth, or feet
- After original onset, it may stop and repeatedly become activated again
- Depigmentation increases over time
- Patches tend to grow
The American Academy of Dermatology has tips for managing vitiligo even though there is not a cure. Treatments don’t have a dramatic affect, so it is best to accept the uniqueness of this skin condition.
Treating Skin With Depigmented Patches
The most important thing to do when there is any changes in the skin is to make sure that there aren’t any signs of skin cancer (melanoma). When there is a mole or other skin lesions in the center of a round patch of depigmented skin it is known as a halo nevus, and it is rarely cancerous. Patches of white skin that is diagnosed as vitiligo will not need to treatment. For some, it is a source of self-consciousness, and they choose to treat it. One of the problems with treatments is they may not work or may take a long time to see the result. These are the options for treatment:
- Topical or oral steroids
- UV light therapy
- Depigment other skin
- Skin graphs
A non-invasive and safe option is to use specialized cosmetics or dyes, but ideally it is best to embrace the unique look of the skin.
The lesson to be learned from a baker, who understands that specialty cakes like marble cakes are more desirable due to their uniqueness, is that distinctively colored skin can be a blessing. Vitiligo can be a conversation starter and a way to be remembered by others.