The cause of vitiligo is not so clear yet. Vitiligo maybe caused by some physical accidental traumas, especially traumas on head. It also accompanies with some diseases, such as hypoadrenocorticism, diabetes, pernicious anemia and thyroid disease. Vitiligo patients may get psychological disorder because of the appearance changes caused by depigmentation. Vitiligo maybe caused by the deficiency of melanin. In a word, it is related to the following factors:
1.Genetic theory: 25%~30% patients have a family history. Recently, the researches find that it is a kind of multigenic disease. Some researches also find that it relates to race, clinical type and clinical characteristics and etc.
2.Melanin cell self-destruct: If melanocyte is overactive, melanin intermediate or phenol groups accumulation will be overmuch and then destroy the melanocyte. Other foreign materials such as phenol and catechol compounds, also can destroy the melanocyte. Encounter this kind of material can also lead to this disease.
3.Nerve chemistry factor: The lesion will emerge and enlarge in response to stress, and often a vitiligo damage presents segmental distribution. Merkel cells in the early lesion will disappear, and skin lesions and adjacent normal neuropeptides will increase.
4.Autoimmunity: The disease can accompany with many autoimmunity disease and autoantibody(antithyroid,antinuclear,resistance to the lining of the stomach cells, antismooth muscle and antimitochondrial antibodies) and their positive rate is higher than normal people.
5. The relative deficiency of tyrosine and copper iron.
The vitiligo lesion will emerge and enlarge when patients are in mental stress, which prompt the effect of neural factors. The researches find that norepinephrine, epinephrine, acetylcholine, melatonin can whiten the melanin cell of amphibians and fish. Some people guess that the reason why the melanin cell’s ability to generate melanin decrease? It maybe because the increase of neurochemicals which leads to the decrease of tyrosinase activity around the melanin cell.Some researches also find that the cholinergic activity will increase and the adrenergic activity will decrease in lesion. And vitiligo patients always accompany with the nerve functional disturbance and skin sweat anomaly, which both accord with nerve chemical factor theory.
In microelement, the copper and zinc are most closely related to vitiligo. Copper is the activating agent of tyrosinase and there is zinc of high concentration.
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