London: Scientists have discovered additional evidence that generalized vitiligo — a disease that typically causes patches of white skin on the face and neck, is associated with slight variations in genes that play a role in the body’s natural defences.The scientists found variations in 10 genes associated with the body’s immune response in people with vitiligo, saying that although immunity is a good thing, cells that guard the body apparently become too aggressive, killing pigment-producing cells called melanocytes that give colour to skin.
In addition to producing blotches of white skin, vitiligo can cause patches of hair to turn white or drain the colour from the mucous membranes of the mouth.“It has a huge psychological effect on people. We live in a society that places value on personal appearance, and anyone who looks different, children in particular, can be made to feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable,” said Wayne McCormack, an associate professor of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine and associate dean for graduate education with the College of Medicine.ANI
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