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The skin problem Michael Jackson tried to hide |

Health And Family

The skin problem Michael Jackson tried to hide

UNDER YOUR SKIN - Grace Carole Beltran MD - The Philippine Star
The skin problem Michael Jackson tried to hide
King of Pop Michael Jackson suffered from vitiligo.

Who could ever forget the thrilling dance moves and heavenly voice of the one and only Michael Jackson?

MJ was accused of so many things, but for me, he was the greatest. Born in Gary, Indiana, on Aug. 29, 1958, he was a Virgo.  So, he was sort of a perfectionist, as shown in his concert performances.

MJ was recognized as the King of Pop, and became the most successful singer in American history for releasing award-winning hits like Billie Jean and Beat It. He first rose to prominence at the age of six singing with his family (the Jackson Five) alongside his brothers Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie. His 1982 album “Thriller” became the bestselling album in history, winning 13 Grammy Awards and having 13 songs reach No.1 on the US charts.

He got married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, on May 26, 1994.  After their divorce on Jan. 18, 1996, he married Debbie Rowe on Nov. 14, 1996. He had three children named Paris, Prince and Blanket. Unfortunately, despite his popularity and money, he felt that he was the most misunderstood man in the world. Honestly, his wealth and fame plunged him into an early demise, but never into oblivion. The reality is, sometimes you become a target when you are both famous and wealthy.

In his live performances, one could surmise that a thick makeup was used to cover whatever the King of Pop was trying to hide. The truth was that MJ tried to hide his skin problem, which was vitiligo. They even accused him of being a racist for bleaching his skin because he was “ashamed of his color, but the truth was, MJ had vitiligo.

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a chronic skin disease characterized by depigmentation of the skin. The prevalence is 0.1 to two percent. Manifestations can occur at any age. However, in half of these patients, the disease manifests itself before the age of 20. Vitiligo lesions are frequently noted on sun-exposed areas, normally hyper-pigmented areas, and areas prone to repeated friction and trauma, without discernible preceding redness or pruritus.

Various therapies are available, depending on the localization and extent of the lesions. However, vitiligo treatment is usually prolonged — with unsatisfactory results — as there are no optimal methods, that lead to complete re-pigmentation of the de-pigmented lesions. Conventional medical treatments of vitiligo consist of topical and/or systematic agents, and ultraviolet therapy.

In patients with stable vitiligo (meaning no more new lesions appear), the lack of reliably effective medical therapies has led to the development of surgical treatment options. The disease develops gradually or rapidly in a few months and then stops.

What you need to know about vitiligo

• The age that patients ?rst notice signs of vitiligo vary.  Most commonly affected are 19- to 30-year-old patients (26 percent), then 13 to 18 years (20 percent), and those more than 60 years were the least (one percent).

• The sites where vitiligo ?rst appear include the head, neck, face, lips, hand, foot, elbow, knee, groin, genitals, trunk, armpit, arm, leg, mucous membranes (e.g. inside mouth, nose). Most patients (94.1 percent) are affected in one body site, and 5.9 percent are affected in more than two sites.

• Possible triggers of vitiligo include emotional distress, physical skin damage, pregnancy or childbirth, a side effect of medication, cosmetic or hair product, deodorant or perfume, sunburn or prolonged sun exposure, exposure to rubber products or hazardous materials and vaccination. Most patients (88.5 percent) choose one cause, while 8.1 percent choose two or three causes. More than 50 percent of patients thought that emotional distress was one of the factors leading to their vitiligo.

• Considering whether their vitiligo had been recently active, 46.3 percent of patients felt that their disease had actively spread in the last month or two, and the other 53.7 percent of patients felt that the disease had been stable for more than three months.

• With regard to the question about how vitiligo had progressed earlier, 58.3 percent of patients selected a quick, short burst, then limited spreading; in contrast, the other 41.7 percent chose slow, progressive spreading for several years.

• Before a white patch appeared, most patients (83.7 percent) had not had any symptoms on their skin and 16.3 percent reported skin itching or redness.

Skin has three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. Epidermal melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells, lie at the base of the epidermis, within keratinocytes (consisting of all skin cells). The ratio of melanocytes to keratinocytes in healthy skin is 1:36.

Keratinocytes turn over quickly in the skin, migrating from the base to the top of the epidermis as they age and “sloughing off” at the surface — generally this turnover takes 28 days in healthy adults.

Melanocytes, by contrast, live for many years but are significantly less able to multiple and renew themselves compared with keratinocytes. Melanocytes also exist at the root of the hair follicle, and are responsible for giving the hair and skin its color.

The dermis, the layer of the skin beneath the epidermis, consists mostly of collagen, elastic tissue and reticulum fibers, along with some specialized nerves and glands. The base of the hair follicle is also embedded in this layer. Part of the hair follicle forms a bulge, a region called the “niche.” Contained within the niche are partially differentiated stem cells: immature cells that, given the right conditions, can be activated to develop into several cell types.

Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which the melanocytes within the basal layer of the skin are damaged or completely destroyed. It is this loss of melanocyte function that causes the depigmentation of the skin, which generally occurs in patches or lesions.

Melanocyte stem cells can be activated and, given the correct stimulation, are able to mature into fully functioning melanocytes within the epidermis. Despite significant research efforts in recent years, the pathways and interactions responsible for the activation and migration of melanocyte stem cells are still not completely understood. What is known is that the expression of several genes, in response to ultraviolet light, leads to the production of various factors, which play a critical role in activating stem cells. Initially, the stem cells divide and some begin to mature, forming melanoblasts (intermediate cells that are a precursor to adult melanocytes). With continued stimulation, melanoblasts further develop and differentiate, migrating to the epidermis, where they become fully functioning, pigment-producing melanocytes.

That is how Regenera Activa works. It does not only treat balding problems but also vitiligo.

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For inquiries, call 8401-8411 or 0917-497-6261, 0999-883-4802 or email Follow me on facebook @dragracebeltran.

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