Entertainment And News

What Is Vitiligo? Critical Things To Know About Stacey Silva’s Condition

Photo: TLC / YouTube
Stacey Silva

Ever since Darcey Silva appeared on the hit TLC franchise 90 Day Fiancé, fans across the globe can’t get enough of the reality star. And after landing her own spinoff series with her twin sister, Stacey, which is aptly titled Darcey & Stacey, the Silva sisters have remained the talk of the tabloids. On the most recent episode of Darcey & Stacey that aired on Sept. 20, Stacey revealed that she used to get bullied as a kid because she lives with vitiligo. “There was this boy on the school bus that used to tease me because I have vitiligo,” Stacey revealed, adding, “I have a whole white eyebrow.”

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin and causes loss of skin color in patches. The condition can affect any part of the skin and body, as well as the hair and even inside one’s mouth. 

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It’s a well-known fact that melanin is responsible for producing color on our skin and in our hair. However, once the cells that produce melanin die, vitiligo can occur. 

Who can develop vitiligo?

Anyone can develop vitiligo and it can affect people with all skin types, although it is more noticeable in those with darker skin tones. 

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

The symptoms of vitiligo vary, but the most common symptom is white patches on the skin. These patches can appear in many shapes and sizes and typically appear in two patterns: segmental or focal, and non-segmental or generalized.

Segmental or focal vitiligo occurs when the white patches on the skin are smaller and occur in one area and on one side of the body. Typically, segmental or focal vitiligo progresses at a slower rate, and will continue for a year or so, then stop.

Non-segmental or generalized vitiligo appears on both sides of the body, and is often symmetrical. This type of vitiligo pattern is the most common, and often starts and stops over the course of a person’s lifetime.

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What causes vitiligo?

Vitiligo is not contagious, and doctors are unsure what exactly causes the condition; however, it is widely considered an autoimmune disease, so if a person or one of their family members has an autoimmune disorder, they may have a greater chance of developing vitiligo. 

The risk of developing vitiligo also increases if someone has the following conditions: lupus, scleroderma, psoriasis, Type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, which are all autoimmune disorders. Additionally, severe sunburns or cuts, stress, and exposure to certain chemicals and toxins may increase the risk of someone developing vitiligo.

What is the best treatment for vitiligo?

There are multiple treatment options for vitiligo. The first course of treatment is typically prescription creams and corticosteroids. Oral medications may also help, and some newer treatments, like laser treatment and UVB light therapy, may help.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter