Categorized | Skin Care

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Why Vitiligo in Children? Understanding the Mechanism of Disease in Childhood Vitiligo

Childhood vitiligo is a puzzle to many parents, primary care physicians and dermatologists.

This is because although vitiligo is an acquired degenerative “skin disease,” it is uncommon in neonates and infants.

By the way from pediatric definition, a neonate is a baby under one month. An infant is a child above one month but under one year. Vitiligo rarely occur during this age period, although a few cases has been reported in newborn babies.

Many people want to know why vitiligo occurs in childhood since stress and autoimmune disease seem to be less pronounced as triggers in this age group.

One experiment tested the umblical cords of several newborns and found an average of 200 toxins. These toxins include banned chemicals like DDT, PCB, mycotoxins, pesticides, insecticides, dioxins, and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and aluminium (behaves like heavy metals). Know that toxins and heavy metals are toxic, acidic and provoke free radical damage, inflammation, upset the genes, autoimmunity and nutrient depletion. The body always burn nutrients to modulate the immune system or to stay in balance. When these toxins pollute and overwhelm the body, vitiligo result depending on the genetic predisposition.

Don’t blame vitiligo on genetics or the child’s parents. This is because even in 30% of relatives with the carrier gene (autosomal dorminant inheritance), less than 7% manifest vitiligo. Even then, vitiligo can still be cured. The normal gene is complex enough to make enough melanin for repigmentation.

The key to understanding vitiligo in children is knowing the incubation period of disease. By the time vitiligo manifests, it has gone through several processes. During this time, the body tries to compensate and fight off the disorder. This is because nature tends towards wholeness before the immune system breaks down.

The most important cause of vitiligo in childhood is food and drink. This is where all the many causes of vitiligo converge. Please don’t let your dermatologist insult your intelligence by telling you, “diet has nothing to do with it.” Vitiligo is primarily a nutrien-deficiency and degenerative disease. The skin manifestation is an outward sign of this internal imbalance. I prefer to call it a disorder more than a disease. Allergies and autoimmune tendencies tend to manifest long after a poor nutritional series of challenges. People tend to develop allergies and autoimmunity to food they eat more often. Any nutrient deficient cell is an inefficient cell. Remember that nutrient deficiency occurs in different ways: nutrient insufficiency, nutrient depletion, nutrient inefficiency, nutrient malabsorption, and nutrient indigestion. I have even seen babies born with nutrient deficiency blurring the line between acquired and inherited diseases.

Nutrient deficiency provoking vitiligo could be due to eating one type or the wrong kind of food. Malabsorption of nutrients could be due to coelic syndrome. Pernicious anemia occurs when lack of intrinsic factor provokes malabsorption of vitamin B12. leaky gut syndrome that creates allergy and autoimmunity due to partially digested allergens. Recall that 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s called GALT (gut associated lymphoid tissues).

When the GALT barrier is broken, vitiligo manifest as a breach on the skin which is the last and final frontier of the immune system coming from the inside. Note first that the liver clears digested food, allergens, and debris from the gut through the portal circulation. The skin becomes a secondary back-up and clearing organ only when the liver filters are overwhelmed. Therefore, vitiligo is a sign of leaky gut syndrome and sluggish liver. As such must be treated from the inside out and not otherwise which is what many dermatologists do. Treating vitiligo from outside without exploring the child’s diet is the reason why doctors get mixed results and recurrence because the underlying root cause was not addressed.

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