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The Main pathogens of Vitiligo

vitiligo pathogensVitiligo is a kind of acquired, local, generalized skin pigment loss disease, is the common disease influence our appearance, easy to diagnosis but hard to treat, traditional Chinese medicine called white Dian or vitiligo.


The causes of this disease is still unclear. Recently research found that vitiligo related to some factors such as theory of heredity.

1. Theory of heredity

There are researches holds that vitiligo might a kind of autosome dominant heredity skin disease. The foreign author statistics there are about 30% vitiligo patients with positive family history, found monozygotic twin both attacked by the vitiligo. Domestic reports found that there are about 3% to 12% positive family history have vitiligo, is lower than in the foreign reports.

2. Theory of autoimmunity

The theory of autoimmunity relationship with the onset of vitiligo is taken more and more seriously. Many scholars noticed that patients and it’s family members have high morbidity to have autoimmune diseases. The common one are thyroiditis, hyperthyroidism or decreased, diabetes, chronic adrenal hyper function, pernicious anemia, rheumatic arthritis, pernicious melanoma and so on. The serum in the blood of vitiligo patients checked out many specificity antibodies in some organs such as antithyroid antibodies, anti-parietal cell antibody,the adrenaline-induced antibodies, anti-parathyroid antibody, antismooth muscle antibody and so on and the relevance ratio is very high. In addition to the vitiligo patients have autoimmunity disease their vitiligo incidence rate is 10 to 15 times higher than normal people. Recently they found vitiligo patients have resistance of melanophore surface antigen, it called vitiligo antibody, it’s titer related to the loss of pigment, titer increased with the skin lesion enlarged, they also found animal with vitiligo also have the same phenomenon, the put with with the melanin cells is the autoimmunity disease. Behl (1977) found the progressive vitiligo edge have monocytes gathered, invade into the boundary between the epidermis and dermis, enter into epidermis through destroyed basement membrane, make the melanin cells in that area lacked, so thy holds that this kind of disease might caused by the tardy over sensitive reaction autoimmunity disease. In addition to this, the internal or external cortical hormone especially the skin lesions not arranged along dermatomere also can indirectly prove the immunity mechanism.

3. Spirit and neural chemistry theory

Many therapist found that the spirit factor is closely related to vitiligo morbidity, it is estimated that about 2/3 vitiligo patients suffered from mental trauma, over anxiety, low spirit or upset in the begin of their disease or skin lesion stages. Anxious can lead to the increase of catecholamine, such as adrenergic can directly influence the pigment loss; stress can also make ACTH secretion increased lead to the increase of cortical hormone, the mobilization of sugar and free fatty acid stimulate the secretion of insulin. The insulin can indirectly stimulate the L-Tryptophane increased in the brain, make the synthesis of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain increased, the metabolism products of it is melatonin, phaeomelanin receptor hyper function play an important role in the onset of vitiligo. Phaeomelanin receptor over active can increase the activity of theophylline enzyme, this enzyme inhibit the melanin biochemical, but in the late period make it born generation activation induce the metabolism of melanin poisonous middle products stored up in the melanin cells cause it died and finally induce vitiligo. Some scholar observed the vitiligo in the nerve endings degenerated and the change degree is related to disease course, this phenomenon also support neural chemistry theory.

4. self-destruction of melanocytes

The basic lesion of vitiligo is part of or all of the function of the melanin cells in the epidermal skin loss. Lerner come up with this theory in 1971, they think the cause of vitiligo is because the epidermal melanin cells over functioned make it consumed and degenerated, it also might the accumulation of the poisonous melanin synthesis. The experiment proved that certain chemical substances have selective destruction effect to the melanin cells and make the pigment loss in our skin, most of these substances belong to the substance that can replace the decolorizing agent such as monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone and so on have the depigmentation effect to the skin, so they think the vitiligo related to the development of industry, increasing the chance to directly contact with that kind of chemical substances.

5. Deficiency of trace elements

Some people put forward that the onset of vitiligo related to the content of copper in our body decreased, but we measure that the copper contents in the serum and hairs of vitiligo patients have no obvious difference compared with normal people, the deficiency of trace elements need further research.

6. Other factors

External injuries such as trauma, surgery, scratch and so on also can induce vitiligo. Some endocrine diseases such as hyper function of thyroid, diabetes and so on can accompany with vitiligo. Over exposure to the sunlight is easily induce vitiligo. There are many vitiligo morbidity theories and have some basis but also partially. At present we think the factors causes vitiligo includes genetic factor, under a variety internal and external factors combined effected, the immune function, nerve and endocrine, metabolism function and other aspects disordered cause the inhibit of enzyme system or the destruction of melanin cells or melanin formation obstruction cause the pigment loss.


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