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Mamta Mohandas and Vitiligo

Apr 16, 2023

Mamta Mohandas and Vitiligo

In January, Mamta Mohandas shared a sun-kissed selfie with her two million followers on Instagram and wrote the following, “Dear sun, I embrace you now like I have never before. So spotted, I’m losing color… I rise even before you every morning to see you glimmer your first ray through the haze. Give me all you’ve got for I will be indebted, here on out and forever by your grace.”

It's been a tough decade for South Indian actress Mamta Mohandas. She has battled with cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then Vitiligo.

Despite such testing times, she opened up about her condition on social media with a positivity that only Mamta can manifest. 

So what is Vitiligo? It is a condition most of us have seen in people around us. It is when a person’s skin starts losing colour and albino patches appear on their bodies. In this blog post, we shall learn in depth about what Vitiligo is, its symptoms, diagnoses, causes, and everything else there is to know about it. 

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What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects over 1% of the population worldwide. It causes the patient’s skin to appear lighter than the other areas because of the loss of pigmentation. Affected areas that are less than 1 centimeter wide are called macules, and those wider than 1 centimeter are called patches. 

The skin turns lighter because the body’s immune system destroys the melanocytes, skin cells that produce melanin, which is the chemical that gives skin its colour. 

Whom does Vitiligo affect?

While Vitiligo is more visible in people with darker skin tones, it affects people of all races and sexes equally. Although this condition can manifest in anyone at any age, it usually becomes more apparent before the age of 30. 

Further, the existence of certain autoimmune conditions can put people at higher risk of developing the condition. These are:

  • Addison’s disease.
  • Anaemia.
  • Diabetes (Type 1).
  • Lupus.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Thyroid disease.

Also read: Struggling to balance PG Residency and Neet SS preparation? Read this.

How does Vitiligo start and progress? 

This condition usually starts with a few small white macules or patches that gradually spread. Vitiligo typically begins on the hands and feet, forearms and face, but it can start from any place on the body, including the mucous membranes. 

The amount of skin affected varies for each person. While some people experience only a few depigmented areas, others go through a widespread loss of colour. 

What are the types of Vitiligo?

There are six types of vitiligo, and they are:

Generalized - This is the most common type, and this causes small macules to appear on various parts of the body. 

Segmental - As the name suggests, this affects only part of the body, such as the hands or face. 

Mucosal - This affects the mucosal membranes of the mouth or genitals, or both. 

Focal - This is a rare type of vitiligo where the macules don’t spread in a specific pattern within one or two years. 

Trichome - This is an unusual type where it causes a bullseye with a white or colourless centre, a lighter area of pigmentation and then an outer area of normal skin tone. 

Universal - This is another rare type where almost 80% of the body loses its pigmentation. 

Also read: Medical News Bulletin Edition 13

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What are the symptoms of Vitiligo?

The signs and symptoms of vitiligo are easy to conclude from a visual examination alone. 

Patches of the skin or mucous membranes lose colour. These will appear white in colour or lighter than the skin tone. Also, patches of hair on the body will turn silver, white or gray in colour. 

Some people with Vitiligo experience itchy skin before the depigmentation begins. 

Where do the Vitiligo symptoms appear? 

The symptoms of vitiligo can appear anywhere on the body. However, the most common places include the following:

  • Hands.
  • Feet.
  • Arms.
  • Face.
  • Mucous membranes (inside the mouth, lips and nose).
  • Genitals (penis).

What is the cause of Vitiligo?

When the skin loses melanin, the pigment that gives it colour, it results in vitiligo. The exact cause behind this is unknown. However, there is research that suggests vitiligo could be a cause of: 

An autoimmune condition: The body’s immune system mistakes healthy cells, or melanocytes, to be foreign invaders and attacks them. This makes the immune system overreact to the cells and develop antibodies to destroy melanocytes. 

Genetic changes: A genetic mutation can also be the cause behind this. There are over 30 genes that can increase of risk of vitiligo. 

Stress: The amount of pigment produced by melanocytes may change if the body is exposed to sudden physical stress or emotional stress. 

Environmental triggers: Ultraviolet radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals can also affect how melanocytes function. 

Also read: Selecting a branch for SS and residency subject.

How can you treat vitiligo?

It is not necessary to treat vitiligo as the condition is not harmful to the body, and the condition is only cosmetic. 

However, if the patient decides it is necessary, there are treatment options available. 


There are certain drugs that can stop vitiligo from spreading, help melanocytes regrow and bring back colour to the skin. 

Light therapy 

Light or phototherapy is the treatment to help return colour to your skin. In this treatment, light boxes, UVB lights or medical-grade lasers are directed at the skin for short periods. 

Depigmentation therapy 

In this treatment, the natural colour of the skin is removed to match the skin colour of the affected areas. 


There are surgical options that include skin grafts or blister grafting.

Also check out the following articles:  
Hrithik Roshan and Chronic Subdural HaematomaAll About Amitabh Bachan’s Incurable Illness - Myasthenia Gravis
Salman Khan’s Serious Health Issue: Trigeminal NeuralgiaAll About Selena Gomez’s Chronic Illness- Lupus
Venus Williams and Sjogren’s Syndome.Preparing for NEET SS? Here are the books you shouldn’t miss.

And that is everything you need to know about Vitiligo. 

Before we conclude, have you heard about beloved Indian actress Sonali Bendre’s fight with Metastatic Cancer? If not, click on the link and read all about Sonali Bendre and Metastatic Cancer

Keep following our blog for more interesting blogs like Mamta Mohandas and Vitiligo, preparation tips, exam strategies and more. 

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Auther Details

Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Marketer who looks after the Medical Super Specialty segment, specifically the NEET SS category, at PrepLadder. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.


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