Vitiligo is caused by lack of pigment. Cells responsible for melanin production are known as melanocytes. Sometimes, these cells get destroyed or become unable to produce melanin. This results in discoloration that presents as pale but usually white patches, a disease called vitiligo. Depending on the type of vitiligo, discoloration can be localized or widespread. The latter is more common.
Vitiligo is often hard to completely get rid of. Available treatments usually seek to even skin tone or restore pigment. Restoring pigment is more practical when small areas such as the lips have been affected. Widespread vitiligo requires methods such as camouflaging with cosmetics.
What it is to camouflage with vitiligo makeup
People with vitiligo do end up with serious complications even when the disease is left without vitiligo treatment. This is even with vitiligo baby cases. The main complication is affected skin becoming very sensitive to sunlight and therefore risk of sunburns or skin cancer.
To most patients, vitiligo is more a source of mental than physical distress. Kids for example fail to understand why it is that they are differently colored. Adults old enough to understand how vitiligo works have to deal with undesired attention, including allegations of engaging in skin bleaching activities. Celebrities diagnosed with vitiligo sometimes go to the trouble of publicly addressing their condition. Tamar Braxton and Terrence J vitiligo cases are good examples.
Since vitiligo is not a serious disease, patients can cope with it with the help of vitiligo makeup. Also, treatments such as micropigmentation cost several hundreds of dollars, which not everyone can afford. Others like PUVA therapy require several months or years before desired results can be noticed. All these are factors that make camouflaging a reasonable management option for vitiligo.
Skin camouflaging is use of creams and other cosmetics to cover vitiligo affected areas. They work by masking the white patches so that even skin tone can be achieved. Camouflaging doesn’t cure vitiligo or keep it from spreading.
Patients can take advantage of vitiligo makeup only during special occasions or as a long-term vitiligo treatment. There are no restrictions as to who can use such makeup. This is partly because age, sex and race are not considered risk factors of vitiligo. The disease can affect anyone.
Choosing the best makeup to cover vitiligo
Finding the best concealer for vitiligo is not that hard but requires a bit of patience and detective work. There are many brands of vitiligo makeup that can be ordered online or be purchased over the counter. Others require a prescription. Popular names include Dermacolor, Covermark, Keromask and Dermablend.
Most if not all vitiligo makeup brands contain ingredients that do not cause allergic reactions or such reactions. You can always check for the full list of ingredients on main websites or get in touch with their help desk.
One of the important things to ensure is that you choose a concealer that matches your skin color. This will ensure that vitiligo patches stay masked even when your skin grows naturally.
Note that makeup brands such as Dermacolor are specifically made to correct skin discolorations or disfigurements. This means that simple makeup, lotions or liquid dyes will not work on vitiligo. The same can be said about concealing products meant to cover acne and pimples.
You can approach a professional for help on how to choose the best makeup to cover vitiligo. This is partly because you may find yourself heavily relying on the makeup in the future.
How to apply makeup to cover vitiligo?
Once you have settled on the right makeup to cover vitiligo, it is important that it be applied appropriately. Below are the steps to follow:
Start with cleansing the skin.
Use water and soap to cleanse the areas on which you intend to apply the makeup. You can use medicated soap but not always necessary. Afterwards, pat dry or leave to air dry.
Most people use their fingertips to apply both foundation and makeup. You can however use a brush or a sponge. Start with the centre of the patch, which sometimes is whiter. Apply a thin coat of the foundation in circular motions towards the outside.
Apply several layers.
The essence of applying the foundation in thin coats is to allow several of them to be applied. This is to be done from the center outwards. Before adding a next layer, it is advisable to let the previous one to settle. This takes about 5 minutes.
Include surrounding skin.
You will notice that the makeup will gradually fade into the skin. To achieve better camouflaging results, it is best that you also apply the makeup on surrounding skin areas. This will bring about a more matching skin tone.
Powder the skin.
Most makeup brands come with a powder meant to be applied on the skin afterwards. Just use the normal process of applying powders by dusting.
Check for special instructions.
Some brands may come with special instructions on how they should be used. Make sure to read and follow such instructions. If doubts exist, you can always contact their help desk. It is not guaranteed that a certain vitiligo makeup will work for you. The best approach is trying several of them and consulting a professional. If you have a dry or sensitive skin, apply a moisturizer before introducing the foundation.
Using fake tans for vitiligo camouflage
Fake tans are another option for concealing vitiligo patches. They work by changing the color of the epidermis, the outermost skin layer. Fake tans can be used alone or with camouflaging makeup.
One of the main advantages of fake tans is that their effects last longer than makeup. Some for example last for about six days before reapplication is necessary. Once you have applied fake tans, they do not easily rub off even on clothing. This means that they are a considerable option for widespread vitiligo. The products are also widely available even without a prescription.
The main drawback is that fake tans are not as effective as camouflage makeup, particularly for darker skinned people.
How to use:
- Like camouflaging makeup, the first step to using fake tans should be to cleanse affected areas. You can use a piece of cloth or brush instead of water.
- After cleansing, apply a moisturizer to prevent skin dryness. Wait for about 5 minutes for the moisturizer to settle.
- Apply the fake tan according to given instructions or generally in circular motions from centre outwards.
- Bony body areas naturally seem to have more pigment. Apply less tanning product on these areas.
- When done, avoid tight clothing so that the lotion will not wear off with the clothing or sweat. Fake tans can also stain clothing.
Tanning lotion for vitiligo
Quite a number of products and brands fall in the category of tanning lotions. These are products that stimulate production of melanin. More melanin means more skin pigment. Tanning lotion can be in form of cream, spray, lotion or even gel. It may be of indoor, outdoor or sunless type.
The main active ingredient in most tanning lotions is DHA. This is a compound that interacts with proteins on outer layer of the skin, causing it to become darker. Other ingredients such as oils may be added to protect the skin or aid in UV absorption.
Indoor tanning lotion:
These are commonly used with tanning beds away from direct sunlight. They do not protect from sunburns. There are several subtypes in this category which use UVB lamp for vitiligo.
Outdoor tanning lotion:
These are lotions used when tanning with the help of natural sunlight. Such are a considerable option for vitiligo on legs. Sunlight contains harmful UV rays that may not only cause sunburn but can lead to skin cancer and immature skin aging. To avoid this, use of sunscreen is recommended.
Sunless tanning lotion:
Sunless tanning lotion doesn’t rely on sunlight. Here, products are applied directly. These products soon fade leaving behind tanning effects. Sunless tanning lotion produces temporary results. It is a much better choice for it reduces risk of skin cancer and skin aging.
Most people have to try several times before settling on the best tanning lotion or product. Indoor tanning lotions have however been said to enhance UV radiation instead of preventing it. Outdoor lotions on the other hand may take long for desired results to be achieved. This is not to mention the risk of getting sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. Blue copper 5 vitiligo can be used with outdoor tanning lotion to prevent skin aging and encourage tanning. Sunless tanning lotions seem like a better option but produce temporary results.
Other vitiligo treatment products
There are supermodels who have been diagnosed with vitiligo but still able to go on with their careers successfully. You can check out stories of models with vitiligo and how they cope with the disease online.
In most cases, camouflaging makeup is used by models and celebs especially when in public places. Some are so perfectly matched with skin tone that it is impossible to tell if the individual has vitiligo.
Other than tanning and camouflaging products, medications such as Elidel and Protopic may help. These work by suppressing the immune system. Vitiligo is largely an autoimmune disease. It occurs when melanocytes are mistakenly attacked by overactive immune cells. By using immunosuppressants, the disease may be kept from spreading. Such medications are usually prescribed for eczema but can work for cases such as penile vitiligo.
Vitiligo skin disorder can be treated or managed in a variety of ways. The best approach is to talk with your doctor before embarking on a specific form of treatment. In fact, vitiligo can also develop in animals such as pets. Rottweiler with vitiligo is a good example.
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