Why did my daughter have to get Vitiligo? That’s a question that I’ve struggled with a lot over this last year. As parents we want nothing but the best for our children. We want them to be happy, love life and healthy. With everything going on in the world, I feel guilty at times for always asking “Why her” or “What did I do wrong?” Last year I did a post on Helping Children Deal with Vitiligo. When I wrote that piece my 5-year-old daughter was just started to show signs of having vitiligo. I noticed white spots on her hands and feet and dismissed them as scars since they were so small. As the Summer ended and she spent more time outdoors, I noticed those white spots got larger and started to spread to other parts of her body.
What exactly is vitiligo? Vitiligo may be an autoimmune disease. These diseases happen when your immune system mistakenly attacks some part of your own body. In vitiligo, the immune system may destroy the cells, melanocytes, that give skin its coloration. It is also possible that one or more genes may make a person more likely to get the disorder. Some speculate that it could be emotional distress or a sunburn. And that’s what makes this so frustrating! There is no cure and no one knows what causes it.
Three types of vitiligo differ in how many patches someone has and where they are on the body. They are:
- Focal vitiligo. A person has a few vitiligo spots in a single area.
- Generalized vitiligo. A person has many vitiligo patches all over the body and they tend to affect the right and left sides of the body in a symmetrical pattern, like a mirror image. This is the most common type of vitiligo.
- Segmental vitiligo. A person has vitiligo patches on one part or side of the body and usually nowhere else. This is the least common type of vitiligo
As a mom I want to do everything I can to protect her physically as well as mentally. We all know that people can stare, judge people purely on their physical appearance or even say ugly things. That is where I want to make sure that my daughter knows that her spots are beautiful and unique! Physically I have to make sure and protect her skin from the sun. Because vitiligo spots have no melanin, they can’t tan. If the skin isn’t protected with sunscreen, vitiligo patches may burn or scar. If it were possible my daughter would be outside 24/7. I have NO clue where she gets that from because nature and I aren’t good friends…LOL! So I’ve become very vigilant about using sunscreen and reapply throughout the day to help prevent sunburn.
What I also hope to do while discussing this topic is to bring awareness to others and also support for those that have vitiligo. If you or someone you know has vitiligo and would like to share your story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for joining us as our share Morgan’s story. <3