Vitiligo and coronavirus
Added: 13.4.2020 14:47.09 Views count: 835
13 April 2020
Many people are wondering if people with vitiligo are at a higher risk to get infected with the coronavirus, which is responsible for the current pandemic. According to US studies, the answer is "NO".
What causes depigmentation and what does it have to do with coronavirus? In both cases, it is an exaggerated immune response of the organism called "Cytokine storm ". During this response, the organism begins to defend itself too much which results to destroying not only dangerous viruses, but also its own cells. In vitiligo case, the organism damages the melanocytes (pigmented skin cells).
The problem with the Cytokine Storm does happen only to people with coronavirus, who have some predispositions for that.
Does this mean that coronavirus affect people with vitiligo more?
The answer is "NO" again. It is not automatically linked, even if it has a common principle. The principle is similar for many diseases, but this does not mean that if there is a person who suffers from vitiligo, he must have been affected by another disease with the same principle.
Just because you suffer from vitiligo does not mean that your immune system is weak. In fact, it means it's too strong, so you probably won't be more susceptible to coronavirus or other viruses. Some patients report receiving fewer infections than their friends and family, and this may reflect the fact that the immune system is overactive. Since the immune system is hyperactive in a small aspect (against melanocytes), this does not necessarily mean that it is strong in all aspects. So each aspect is probably a little different.
As mentioned at the beginning, suffering from vitiligo does not mean a higher risk of catching a new coronavirus or a worse course of the disease. However, we can support the body and its immunity by frequent exposures to sunlight as well as by taking vitamin D3 or Zinc and Selenium.