Vitiligo: What Michael Jackson’s Skin Disorder is About

Everybody seems to be so much interested in how Michael Jackson has become a white-skinned superstar at adulthood when he was dark-skinned as a child performer. As a matter of fact, his skin color has been a favorite topic among fans and haters alike. This caused some controversies and gave Jackson a painful ordeal all throughout his life. Some assume that he may have undergone skin bleaching because he can afford practically almost anything, while others believe that he was suffering from a skin disorder termed as vitiligo.

Vitiligo or leukoderma refers to a skin condition which is characterized by the appearance of white patches on the skin. These patches can appear on any part of the body. Vitiligo is a result of the death of melanocyte cells that produce the skin pigment called melanin. If a person has this skin disorder, the condition can vary from just one to two spots on an area or many spots on a person’s body. In the event that melanocytes die, cells that form the skin on the particular area appear white.

This type of skin disorder is commonly found in people who have a family history of certain auto immune diseases such as Addison’s disease, hyperthyroidism and diabetes. For some people inflicted with vitiligo, the de-colorization progresses from little white blemishes on skin, then over time these little spots can enlarge to cover wider areas of the skin to the extent that it can cover the entire body. Dark skin obviously shows that vitiligo is present. Amazingly, also the white patches can occur symmetrically across both sides of the body.

On the other hand, vitiligo on the head can affect the hair color and it can leave white patches or streaks. Also, it will affect body and facial hair in a similar manner.

Some cases reveal that physical injury to a specific area of the skin may cause new outbreaks of de-colorization. Experts and doctors have noted that wounds that form scabs and scars form a new skin that is de-pigmented when the wound heals. For some doctors, vitiligo may also be caused by excess stress that can affect the immune system. Too much stress leads the body to react and the immune system may erroneously perceive the skin pigment as a threat so it begins to attack the melanocytes.

This non-contageous skin disorder only affects one to two percent of the population, and there are treatments that can impair it from spreading. They can also use medicated makeup to disguise the de-colorization.

Dark-skinned people with vitiligo often opt to remove their skin color all at once to make their color more even-toned and the contrast less obvious. Michael Jackson had chosen this procedure to maintain a pleasant appearance and hide his vitiligo. There is no cure for vitiligo up until today.

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