The illness of vitiligo results in skin discoloration. Any part of the body can be affected, including the scrotum, penis, and the interior of the mouth. Men with vitiligo typically experience discomfort when the disorder affects their penile area due to the stigma connected with sexuality.
However, it’s crucial to note that vitiligo is not an STD and cannot be acquired. Let’s examine penile vitiligo and how it may influence a person.
What is Vitiligo?
Parts of the skin lose melanin due to the skin disorder vitiligo.
The pigment melanin is responsible for the color of hair and skin. Therefore, skin tends to appear white when there is no melanin present.
Vitiligo can occur in any part of the body. This includes the penile and vaginal region as well.
The first parts of the body to get affected are the face, neck, and back of the hands.
However, there is no process or method to predict which body part will be affected first or how large the spots will be.
What Causes Penile Vitiligo?
Experts are not really sure why vitiligo happens. However, the majority of people think an autoimmune condition is mostly to blame.
When healthy cells are mistaken for hostile cells by the immune system and attacked, an autoimmune illness results.
Vitiligo is more likely to occur in those with other autoimmune illnesses like Hashimoto or Lupus.
Studies also show that vitiligo can be hereditary.
How Can Penis Vitiligo Be Diagnosed?
Vitiligo is generally diagnosed through a physical exam.
If you start noticing spots in your body or penis, then visit your doctor. They will check your body with the help of ultraviolet light to confirm if you have vitiligo or not.
In some situations, doctors may also biopsy a part of your skin to confirm vitiligo.
This is to rule out another disease known as balanitis xerotica obliterans, an inflammatory skin disease. In this case, the sores start out itchy and red, but over time turn white.
But, if you have an autoimmune disease or a family history of vitiligo it is best to let your doctor know.
Are There Any Symptoms of Penile Vitiligo?
The main symptom of vitiligo is depigmented skin patches. Vitiligo on the penis generally appears on the shaft and foreskin first before the head.
But, before vitiligo affects your penis you will be able to see the signs on other parts of your body, such as:
- White or grey hair
- Loss of pigmentation in mucus membranes like the lining of the nose and mouth
- Change in vision that results in loss of pigment in the lining of the eyeball
Why is Penis Vitiligo Not Contagious?
Vitiligo is not a sexually transmitted disease. It cannot spread from contact or sexual intercourse. Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition and can be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection.
Genital vitiligo does not affect the functioning of the genitals. It is only on the skin and does not affect the utility.
How Does Penis Vitiligo Affect Intimacy and Self-Esteem?
People who have vitiligo often suffer from social stigma. People do not understand the disease and feel scared to interact with someone who looks different. So, in this situation getting vitiligo in the penis or vagina can be equally traumatizing.
It is best to bring up and discuss the subject with your sexual partner. You might need to explain to them what exactly is vitiligo and the fact that it is not an STD. Vitiligo can thoroughly affect a person’s self-esteem.
So, it is best to talk to a therapist about managing vitiligo and the stigmas attached to it.
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How Can Penis Vitiligo Be Treated?
There is no remedy for vitiligo, but you can do some things to get back some pigmentation in your skin. But, penis vitiligo will not affect your health or virility, so there is no actual need for treatment.
But, considering how sensitive the penile area is, it might be more difficult to treat than other areas.
People suffering from vitiligo can use ointments and topical creams like corticosteroids or creams containing pimecrolimus or tacrolimus. These affect the autoimmune response of the body.
If you are suffering from penis vitiligo, then talk to your doctor about using these creams. But, these could have long-term effects such as skin atrophy or irritations.
2. Light Therapy:
By using ultraviolet A, B, and excimer light you can slowly restore pigmentation to your skin. It can even help restore the color of your penis.
However, exposure to too much light can increase the chance of getting cancer and can be very dangerous. So, talk to your doctor before thinking about getting this type of remedial treatment.
If any of these treatments do not work, then you might try surgery. If vitiligo occurs only on your foreskin then getting a circumcision will help.
For other areas, a surgeon might be able to graft another layer of skin onto your penis. But, this can be quite difficult and painful considering the area.
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Vitiligo is not only a disease of the skin. It can also affect a person’s mental, physical, and emotional aspects. And getting penis vitiligo or vaginal vitiligo can be equally harrowing.
But you need to understand that the condition is harmless. So, if you have sexual partners you need to explain to them the disease and how it is not related to STDs.
Start by being comfortable with your body and your self-image. This will help you look more confident on the outside and will help you get the confidence to love yourself.
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