Vitiligo in a newborn is quite difficult to treat and easy to recur. This can make your baby irritable, itchy, uncomfortable and often fussy. Therefore, parents need to have a deep understanding of this disease to better protect their children.
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What is vitiligo in a newborn?
Neonatal vitiligo is a skin condition that is invaded and attacked by the fungus Pityrosporum Ovale. This ringworm usually lives in pores, spreads easily, and thrives in humid or hot humid tropical climates. When overgrowth, they will form patches of uneven color, causing babies to itch and uncomfortable, especially when sweating.
Although this dermatological problem does not affect the child’s health, if not treated properly, it can damage the skin, leading to inflammation. In addition, the treatment of vitiligo will be longer and more difficult if the baby has sensitive skin.
The cause of vitiligo in infants
Because the immune system is not fully developed, it is not able to resist harmful factors from the surrounding environment, so babies are very susceptible to vitiligo . Parents should note some common causes of this pathology, including:
- Weather: A humid environment and a hot and humid climate are a good opportunity for fungi to grow rapidly and attack the body. Because the child’s resistance is still very weak, this fungus easily penetrates and causes disease.
- Children are not cleaned properly: Bad habits of parents in cleaning children (less bathing, lazy changing diapers, not drying the baby’s body after bathing and before dressing …) can cause children vitiligo.
- Dressing too much or too tight: This promotes sweat and sebum secretion in children, especially the neck, back, armpits, groin area … If not wiped regularly, the child’s skin will becomes wet. Fungi taking advantage of this condition multiply and cause disease.
- Atopic factors: Some babies are born with sensitive skin or sebum. In addition, hormonal changes can make children with vitiligo. In addition, too much sun exposure also creates conditions for the fungus to attack.
- The immune system is weak, not yet complete
Identifying signs of vitiligo in a newborn
Vitiligo in newborns is similar to that of adults. After entering the skin cells, the fungus begins to multiply vigorously, thereby creating many white spots on the child’s skin. When observing, parents will easily detect the disease immediately. Here are the common symptoms of vitiligo:
- Young skin appears many spots with uneven color compared to the rest of the skin. If the child has light skin, the dark spots are dark. On the contrary, if the child has dark skin, the pungent spot is light.
- Initially, the skin spots are quite small. Over time, they spread throughout the surrounding skin, forming a large patch of skin with a distinctive color.
- The shapes and sizes of diseased skin spots vary widely. What they have in common is a very prominent border.
- On the discolored areas appear uncomfortable itchiness, especially at night. Depending on the particular case, the child may experience a dull or severe itching.
- The damaged skin shows signs of natural flaking with no external influence.
- For babies, the disease usually develops strongly in areas of sweaty skin such as armpits, chest, groin, neck, back … rarely appear in thighs or legs.
- If the child is exposed to direct sunlight, the symptoms will be more severe. Some children will have a mild fever because fungus and bacteria get into the skin.
Neonatal vitiligo is a common dermatological condition that is difficult to cure and does not endanger your life. However, the itchy bouts that appear in the damaged skin can make the baby uncomfortable and often fussy, thereby affecting the child’s overall development. Moreover, the disease also causes pigmentation to disappear. If not treated in time, when growing up, children will have an inferiority in their skin.
Is vitiligo in babies contagious?
This is one of the frequently asked questions of parents. According to a dermatologist, because fungi are the cause of the disease, they are highly infectious. According to statistics, the proportion of people with vitiligo ranked second (only after eczema – Eczema ) in the list of dermatological diseases.
This pathology not only spreads from the diseased skin to the healthy skin but can also spread quickly from person to person through the following ways:
- Direct contact with patient’s skin
- Share a bed, use the same blanket, pillow with the patient
- Sharing personal belongings with an infected child such as towels, clothes …
During hot days, babies sweat a lot. This is when pathogens attack your baby’s skin. Therefore, parents need to regularly clean the baby’s body and take care of their child carefully to minimize the risk of the baby being infected.
When should I take my baby to the doctor?
Parents should bring their children to the doctor immediately if the child has the following symptoms:
- Patches of depigmented skin begin to spread
- The itchiness and skin damage have no signs of recovery after a period of treatment
- Vitiligo recurs or becomes more severe
In addition, depending on the features of the site and the care regimen, each baby has different symptoms. In some cases, vitiligo does not manifest clearly on the baby’s skin. At this time, the doctor will perform a biopsy directly under the skin (without taking blood) to identify the type of fungus, the causative agent, and then outline the appropriate treatment direction.
How to treat vitiligo in a newborn
As a benign form of ringworm, neonatal vitiligo can be easily controlled and reversed. Parents need to rely on the health of their children as well as consult with a dermatologist to find a safe and effective treatment.
Healing by Western medicine methods
Symptoms of vitiligo in newborns will be improved with topical antifungal medications called Pityrosporum Ovale. However, this drug also has some potential risks in the treatment process. Therefore, when deciding to use this medicine or any medicine for your baby, you need to talk directly with your doctor for the most specific instructions.
Usually, in mild or moderate severity, a baby will be prescribed topical medication. If the situation goes bad (the vitiligo spots spread and cause some damage to the skin), the doctor will review and develop a new treatment regimen combined with oral drugs to be more suitable.
Before applying the medicine to treat vitiligo, parents need to bathe the child or clean the child’s body thoroughly. This contributes to the enhancement of therapeutic effects as well as the prevention of inflammation. If you must take special medicines in oral form, parents must follow the instructions of the doctor about how to use, dosage and when to take the medicine. In addition, you need to let your child wear clean, fragrant and airy clothes with good sweat absorbent ability and absolutely do not let your child wear dirty, wet or layered clothes.
Treatment and child care at home
If the child has mild vitiligo, the skin lesions have just flared, parents can help their child improve their symptoms with the following remedies:
Exercise 1: Use a horse’s head
- Prepare 2 – 3 horse heads
- Wash the prepared horseshoe fruit with clean water and saline solution
- Put them in the mortar and smash them
- Boil horse head pods with 300ml of filtered water for 15 minutes
- Remove the residue and wait for the solution to cool
- Give your child a drink while it is still warm
- Perform 1 time / day, apply continuously for 3-5 days
Exercise 2: Use laksa leaves
- Prepare lettuce (a sufficient amount) and white wine
- Wash the lettuce with salt water
- Crush all laksa leaves to filter for the juice
- Dissolve the juice of laksa leaves with white wine in a ratio of 1: 1
- Use a medical cotton swab or cotton swab to absorb the mixture and then apply it to the baby’s vagina
- After 5 minutes, clean the skin with warm water
- Use a soft cotton towel to dry the surface of the skin, not to let it get wet
- Perform 1 time / day, continuously for 5 days
How to prevent vitiligo in a newborn?
Some of the following principles will help parents minimize the formation and recurrence process of vitiligo in newborn babies:
- Take a good bath and change your baby’s clothes, especially when the weather is hot (because this is the time when your child’s body is very sensitive and sweating).
- Keep baby’s skin clean and dry by wiping sweat regularly
- Choose diapers, towels, clothes that are smooth, elastic and absorb moisture well and your baby’s clothes should be spacious, comfortable, not tight.
- Wash and dry children’s clothes in a separate area (do not mix with other family members), in a sunny place, or sterilize clothes over high temperatures with a dryer
- Use shower gel, shampoo and skin cleansing products that contain mild ingredients, antiseptic and moisturizing properties for baby’s skin.
- Use products to care and protect young skin under the guidance of a specialist
Although vitiligo in a newborn is not dangerous and does not affect the baby’s overall health, the lesions caused by vitiligo usually tend to spread over time. This leads to an uncomfortable itchy sensation as well as a loss of aesthetics on the baby’s skin. Therefore, as soon as you find out your child’s unusual symptoms, you should immediately take your child to see a doctor for timely and definitive treatment.