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Does Vitiligo Put You at a Higher Risk of Melanoma Cancer?

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Team Molemap Creator
Posted 30/07/14

Many people with skin conditions related to pigmentation worry that they may be more likely to get melanoma cancer. This is especially the case with people suffering from vitiligo. The question is whether it is linked to this type of skin cancer and whether it puts you at greater risk. Find out everything which you need to know so that you can take the necessary measures to protect yourself.

Melanoma Cancer and Vitiligo

Vitiligo is characterized by loss of pigment in areas of the skin. It occurs because of weakening or destruction of the pigment cells. Melanoma, on the other hand, is the most dangerous types of skin cancer. It originates in the pigment cells. That is why the cancerous growths are easily mistaken for moles, even though the two have considerable differences.

There is not complete certainty about the link between vitiligo and melanoma cancer. Some specialists believe that the vitiligo patients may be at higher risk, but most believe that this is not the case. In fact, the most recent research studies have shown that people who have this skin condition are actually at lower risk of developing the most dangerous skin cancer and the other types of skin cancer as well. There is solid evidence to believe that the risk may be as much as three times lower. The lower risk may be due to the changes in the pigment cells of vitiligo patients.

Even though research has shown that you may be more likely to develop the most dangerous form of skin carcinoma, this does not mean that you are fully protected. You should adopt the same protective measures as all other people in order to ensure that you remain as safe as possible.

Melanoma Cancer: Lowering Risk

It is not difficult to protect your skin from the sun. You simply need to apply sunscreen and to cover as much of your body as possible with protective clothing. In general, it is best if you avoid the midday sun altogether. These simple measures can give you perfectly adequate protection.

You will benefit immensely from regular skin exams. You can readily ask your dermatologist to check for suspicious moles as well. You can also use mole mapping, which is the most effective method for monitoring potentially dangerous growths and preventing skin cancer.

Overall, the fact that you have vitiligo may actually put you at lower risk of melanoma cancer. However, this does not mean that you should not adopt the major protection measures.

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