Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects about two percent of the population. It occurs when the skin stops producing pigment-producing cells called melanin, resulting in milky white patches on the face, hands, legs, arms and other parts of the body. Although the condition is not painful or medically dangerous, living with vitiligo can be difficult because it affects a person’s appearance and can make them self-conscious. It’s also important for people with vitiligo to be extra cautious when it comes to sun exposure, as skin that has lost its pigment can burn very easily. If you or someone you love has vitiligo, here’s what you need to know about how to protect skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Can Sun Exposure Cause Vitiligo?
While there’s no evidence to suggest that vitiligo can be caused by sun exposure, it can make the condition worse by heightening the contrast between normally pigmented areas of the skin and the lighter patches caused by vitiligo. Skin that does not have pigment is also more susceptible to sunburn.
Sun Care Tips For People With Vitiligo
- Use Sunscreen
People with vitiligo need to be diligent about shielding their skin from the sun whenever they are outside. Sunscreen should always be applied at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Make sure to choose a water-resistant product that has an SPF of 30 or higher provides UVA/UVB protection (look for “broad spectrum” on the label). Reapply every two hours and after going into the water or sweating excessively.
- Wear Protective Clothing
Cover your skin when you’re outside by wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Sunhats and sunglasses can also provide effective protection from the sun. Try to find items of clothing that note their Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) on the label, which indicates how much UVB and UVA radiation can penetrate the fabric.
- Avoid Tanning Beds
Using a tanning bed is not a safe alternative to going out into the sun. It exposes your skin to the same harmful rays and can cause sunburns, especially in areas of the skin that have lost their pigment. The only safe way to give your body a sun-kissed glow is to use a self-tanning spray, tan lotion or mousse with high-quality formulas that are proven to work.
How to Cover Vitiligo Spots
Many people who struggle with vitiligo use self-tanners to help camouflage their spots. Along with co-creator Jackie McDonald, a twenty-year vitiligo sufferer, Fake Bake developed a better way to help people with this skin condition. The Vitiligo Vanquish Kit is the most effective formula for covering depigmented areas of the skin. It’s created to be transfer resistant, which means it won’t come off onto your clothes or another person’s skin with you shake their hand, hug each other or kiss them. The colour lasts up to three days, so you don’t have to worry about constant touch ups.
Vitiligo Vanquish is also unique because it can be customized to match the exact shade of your skin. It’s easy to apply and glides on seamlessly with the included custom application brushes. The kit also comes with links to video tutorials and detailed instructions to ensure you create the natural-looking coverage for your vitiligo spots as well as convenient refills made for women and men to feel confident in their beautiful skin.