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Michael Jackson and Vitiligo

Michael Jackson's gradual change in skin color became the subject of many tabloids. Many tabloids speculated that he bleached his skin. They said he bleached his skin because he is "a shamed" of his race. In 1993, Michal Jackson stated that the reason for his change is skin color was due to the disease called vitiligo (Jefferson 82).

Vitiligo is a disease where white patches appear on the skin. This disease happens in all sexes, of all ages and of all races, but mostly African-Americans. Scientifically, the immune cells in the body attack the melancytes (one of the main cells skin is made of) and kills them. When the melancytes die, the skin turns white. Doctors do not know why the immune cells attack the melancytes. They believe that vitiligo could be genetic or it can occur at the site of an old injury.

There are two types of vitiligo; generalized and segmental. Generalized vitiligo is when the patchy white areas are often symmetrical, flat, have definite boarders and may spread to any part of the body. The segmental type of vitiligo is white patches that usually stay on one side of the body. For some people, like Michael Jackson, it spreads over the entire body. Vitiligo makes African-Americans look like Northern-European Americans. Studies have also shown that people diagnosed with vitiligo are less likely to get skin cancer.

Most people have slow progression of vitiligo. In some people the problem disappears by itself; for others it doesn't. For people whose vitiligo does not disappear on their own, there is various treatment options. There are multiple vitamins, like the B-complex multivitamin. Also, there is a specialty supplement called Total Balance. Total Balance contains Folic Acid, Vitamin E 600-800 IU (international units) and ascorbic acid. A topical treatment that is used is a Vitamin D ointment. People with vitiligo could also use makeup to hide the patches or do a PUVA light treatment.

A Psoralen long wave...
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