woman with vitiligo

Vitiligo May Soon See New Treatment Options

Even in these days of positive body imaging, conditions such as vitiglio remain a challenge. While many women have come out in the shared desire to be appreciated despite weight issues, there is not such a platform for those with skin pigmentation conditions, which tend to be less common and less publicized. Sufferers of vitiglio often struggle with low self esteem, and are often the objects of unwanted attention in public places. Building awareness and acceptance about such condition is important, as is trying to find new treatment approaches. Here are some new thoughts and insights into the genetic disorder.

Genetic Predisposition
With new research comes new hope. Pearl E Grimes, MD and director of Vitiglio Pigmentation Institute of Southern California says that with the advancement of genetic research in the past ten years, “We now know that probably 90% of the genes the have been identified in vitiglio are immune-susceptibility genes, 10% are pigment related genes.” Because the condition is so often genetic, it can lead to “sick melanocytes.” This means, “Melanocytes from people with vitiglio do not grow as well in culture. There are probably some inherent defects in these melanocytes that may tie back to the genetics of the disease.”

Oxidative Stress
Another finding of the latest research points to oxidative stress as the event that starts off the immune dysfunction that culminates in vitiglio. Grimes says, “In vitiglio, we know that hydrogen peroxide is up, while catlase – a major oxidative stress fighting molecule is down.” The lack of the body’s ability to protect against oxidation may be what leads to the release of the antigens that play a role in destroying the melanocytes that lead to vitiglio.”

Raising Awareness
Dr Grimes relates a story of a beautiful 40 -year- old patient whose face caused a toddler to cry. “In response to that incident,” the patient said, “I don’t go out. I don’t date anymore, I have isolated myself, and I feel ugly.”

Grimes explains that vitiglio patients require a very long initial consolation. She says, “We take a very detailed history-looking at family history, a time of disease onset, disease progression, associated symptoms, associated autoimmune illnesses, and medications to tease out any other causative factors that may be contributing to pigment loss.”

Besides uncovering the physical causes, Dr. Grimes also stresses addressing the psychological impact of the condition. She steers aways from direct, overly probing questions, saying, “I go about it in a subdued, roundabout way -trying to let them talk about it first. I want them to be comfortable.” Instead of asking about the impact of the disease on the patient’s quality, she prefers to inquire about changes in daily routines. “Some will say, ‘I wear makeup all the time, even on my hands.'”

After performing a complete physical exam with photos and a laboratory assessment, Grimes reports that she is, “able to put together a treatment regimen based on the patient’s symptoms.” She is also able to assemble a health care team is needed, including a rheumatologist, immunologist, and mental health professional.

What can you do to raise awareness about vitiglio? Are these findings promising? Let us know what you think.

Man applying anti-aging cream.

Common Guy Skin Issues and How to Fix Them

Because the composition of male skin is different than females, it also comes with a different set of common issues. Like females, guy skin issues can occur at any point during life and it’s best to be as prepared as possible and to take preventive measures when appropriate. Below, Resveralife discusses some of the most common guy skin issues and include how you can fix them to get the best skin possible.

Man getting his skin examined for skin cancer.

Skin Cancer
Starting off on a serious note, men are more likely to get skin cancer than women are. A 2013 study found that one in every 50 men suffer from melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer), while only one in 35 women will deal with melanoma. A possible contributing factor to the men being more prone to melanoma is that men, generally speaking, do not apply sunscreen as regularly as women leaving them unprotected against harmful UV rays.

In order to fix this skin issue, wear sunscreen every time you are going to expose yourself to sunlight (yes, even in the middle of winter). Experts recommend applying a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher about 20 minutes before you plan to be outside. You should use about a full ounce (a shot glass full) to cover your face and body. No matter how long-lasting a bottle says the protection is, reapply your sunscreen every two hours or after you immerse yourself in water.

Man examining his pimple in the mirror.

Excess Oil
Everyone is susceptible to oil production, but men have two times the amount of oil glands that women do. Not only do guys have double the number of oil glands, but they also produce five times more sebum (oil) than women do. Why do men make so much oil? The male hormone, androgen, is largely responsible for sending the signal to secrete sebum. This leads to oily skin and can be a major contributing factor in male acne.

Fixing this skin issue can be a bit tricky because acne affects people in different ways. First, finding a cleanser that has benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in it is a great way to begin the fight against acne and oil. Another important way to cure this problem is to remember to exfoliate regularly, two or three times a week. You can do this using  scrub designed to slough off skin cells or you can use a chemical exfoliant (that can be used daily) to clean out pores, remove dead skin cells and fight excess oil.

Business man with dandruff issues.

Flakes
Dandruff affects both men and women and occurs when yeast reacts to the excess oil produced by men’s oil glands. Often, dandruff manifests as itchy, flaky skin in white or slightly yellow colors. The areas affected by dandruff also tend to become red and in men, it is especially possible for the condition to spread to the face in areas such as between the eyebrows and around the nose.

The first line of defense in fixing this skin issue is to grab an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo with pyrithione zinc. If this does not work, try an apple cider vinegar treatment. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and apply to hair. Let that sit for about 20 to 30 minutes then shampoo. If you are still struggling with flakes, head to the doctor and see what your options are.

Male skin definitely comes with a unique set of issues, but luckily they all have fixes. Take good care of your skin and use preventive measures, like sunscreen, to help avoid more serious skin issues later in life.