Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: You must've seen people having white patches on their skin, including hands, feet, arms, face and lips. In medical terms, white patches on the skin are known as vitiligo.
Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin gives colour to skin and hair and is produced by cells called melanocytes.
In a case of hereditary skin disease, a South Carolina toddler was born with a white patch in her hair that her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all born with, says report.
MilliAnna of Ridgeland, South Carolina, who's is now 18-month-old, is the fourth generation in her family to inherit the rare birthmark.
"We are unsure how far back the birthmark goes as my grandmother was adopted as a child and hasn't met her biological family," her 23-year-old mother, Brianna Worthy, told the Daily Mail.
"I was hoping she did have it. My younger sister that my mother had a few years after me didn't get it, so I didn't know if MilliAnna was going to, but once I had her and they laid her on my chest and I saw she had it [and] I was so happy."
Vitiligo can't be cured, but treatment may help and improve the appearance of the skin. Since the white patches caused by vitiligo are due to lack of melanin, the skin of a person suffering from the condition will be more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. Using good suncreen with stong SPF factor is important to avoid sunburn.
Because this skin condition may run in the family, those with a family history of vitiligo are at an increased risk for getting it. Also, a person's risk of developing white patches increases if he/she has autoimmune disorders. You should contact a skincare professional immediately in case you who notice white patches forming on your body.