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 Michael Jackson and Vitiligo

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MesajSubiect: Michael Jackson and Vitiligo   Sam Mar 06, 2010 5:21 pm

Michael Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus in 1986. In a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, Jackson claimed that he didn't bleach his skin, stating for the first time that he had vitiligo. The admission went on to promote awareness of vitiligo.A friend claimed he started wearing his signature sequin glove to cover the vitiligo that had begun to appear in the early 80s.It is also confirmed on his autopsy report.

With the sudden passing of Michael Jackson, the debate about the changes in his appearance over the years has escalated. Everyone has weighed in on how many surgeries he’s had and the changes in his skin color have been comedic fodder for years. Plastic surgery is one thing, but what do we really know about vitiligo, the skin condition that had haunted him for years?

Imagine getting ready for the day and trying to avoid the bathroom mirror.

While many people feel that their face isn’t what they'd consider perfect, they are basically happy with it. Being conscious of our appearance though, billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics each year to enhance the way we look. Unfortunately, we sometimes judge others by their appearance and in addition, misinformation and concerns about catching a disease can determine how comfortable we are about being in close contact.

Vitiligo is a non-contagious condition where the melanocytes do not function correctly and patches of light colored skin appear on various areas of the body. Research has shown it to sometimes be linked to an autoimmune disorder and that it may be inherited. Although not considered life threatening, it can, of course, be very troubling for the person who has it.

Vitiligo seems to be somewhat more common in people with certain autoimmune diseases. These autoimmune diseases include hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), adrenocortical insufficiency (the adrenal gland does not produce enough of the hormone called corticosteroid), alopecia areata (patches of baldness), and pernicious anemia (a low level of red blood cells caused by the failure of the body to absorb vitamin B12). Scientists do not know the reason for the association between vitiligo and these autoimmune diseases. However, most people with vitiligo have no other autoimmune disease.

For a person with vitiligo, minimizing the color changes can be difficult – especially when the individual naturally has dark skin. The discolorations can make a person feel self-conscious which can then lead to hiding from stares and hurtful comments. Sometimes cosmetics can help, but if it spreads to other parts of the body or becomes larger, just covering it up can be a major challenge. Some treatments vitiligo sufferers have undergone include skin grafts and bleaching in an effort to even out the tone.

In the video you’ll see not only Michael’s vitiligo, but that of other people’s as well (caution: some of the images may be disturbing).


"If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, the everything that happens in between can be deal with." Michael Joseph Jackson
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