Malayalam actor Mamta Mohandas has revealed that she has been diagnosed with vitiligo, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin to lose colour.
Taking to her Instagram account, the actor of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ fame has posted selfies, along with the hashtags – autoimmune disease, vitiligo, ‘embrace the journey’ and ‘heal yourself.’
Showering Mamta with love, her friends and fans are calling her a “fighter.”
What is vitiligo
According to the NHS, it is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin.
A lack of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin is the cause of vitiligo.
Though vitiligo can reportedly affect any area of skin, it commonly occurs on the face, hands, neck, and in the creases of the skin.
The condition can also affect the hair and the inside of the mouth. The lack of melanin in the skin can even turn the hair in the affected area to grey or white.
Also, with time, the areas that are discoloured usually tend to get bigger.
The areas of the skin vitiligo mostly affect include:
• eyes and mouth
• inside the mouth
• fingers and wrists
The NHS informs that vitiligo often starts as a pale patch of skin that turns completely white, gradually.
The centre of a skin patch will mostly be white, with paler skin around it. Additionally, the patch may be slightly pink, instead of white, if there are blood vessels under the skin.
The colour of our hair, skin and eyes is determined by melanin, a group of natural pigments.
Vitiligo occurs when the cells in the body that produce melanin die or stop functioning, The Times of India explains.
Though it’s not clear as to what causes these pigment cells to die, experts believe it’s probably related to either an autoimmune condition, family history, or an event that triggers the condition, such as stress, severe sunburn, or a chemical that the skin could have come in contact with.
Also, though this condition can affect people of all skin types, it may be more noticeable in those with darker skin tones.
Vitiligo can strike at any age but it usually appears before the age of 30, and even though it is not contagious or life-threatening, it can reportedly get stressful to live with this skin condition which can only be partially treated – as colour can be restored to the affected area but the continued loss of skin colour cannot be prevented.