vitiligo-treatment

Know More About Vitiligo Treatment

Vitiligo is a disease that destroys melanocytes which are the cells that produce the pigment of the skin. As such, in these areas, you will start noticing a change of color in the skin which may lead to white patches.

Vitiligo Disease

Although it may not have influences on your health, it may affect you psychologically or emotionally. It does not however cause any kind of pain. Nevertheless, it might affect your eyes and the mucous membranes in your nose or mouth. Most of the people develop Vitiligo by 40 years of age. Some may even develop before they reach 20 years of age.

Symptoms of Vitiligo:

The main symptom of Vitiligo is the appearances of White patches on your skin. These patches appear mainly in regions that are exposed to the sun such as feet, hands, face, lips and arms. However, you may also notice such patches in areas such as:

  • Armpits and Groin area
  • Eyes
  • Around the mouth
  • Nostrils
  • Rectal area
  • Genitals
  • Navel

You may also find your hair turning gray faster. Some even notice a lack of color inside their mouths. The white patches on your body may or may not spread and if they do spread they may either spread quickly or gradually.

Causes of Vitiligo:

The exact causes of Vitiligo are not known. However, they may either run in the family or could trigger off due to an autoimmune disorder such as hyperthyroidism. It might also happen if your immune system happens to attack any part of your body by mistake. You may get it if your skin is sensitive to the sun. There are some who have developed Vitiligo after developing a rash or sunburn. Physical illnesses or stress may also cause Vitiligo in a few rare cases. Though Vitiligo may affect any person, it is more likely to affect people who are dark skinned.

Diagnosis of Vitiligo:

An examination of the affected area can help the doctor diagnose your condition as Vitiligo. In order to confirm his inference, he may ask you a couple of questions regarding your health. At times, a blood test, an eye examination or even a biopsy where in a sample of the affected skin will be extracted, may be required to evaluate the severity of the Vitiligo condition. Once this is done, the doctor will advise you about the right treatment to go for.

Treatments and remedies:

There are many kinds of treatments for Vitiligo and the right treatment to go for depends upon:

  • How many white patches are there on your skin
  • If these patches are spreading rapidly
  • What kind of treatment you would prefer

All treatments may not work for everyone. Certain treatments may even lead to unwanted side effects. While a couple of them can give faster results there are some that work real slowly. However, the goal of most of these treatments is to give color to the white patches of skin. The treatment options include:

Surgical Techniques:

  • Skin grafting: Normal skin is extracted and the graft is transplanted surgically on the affected area. This new skin graft then begins to produce pigment. This can work if you have stable vitiligo which has not spread for a period of six months. This treatment has a success rate of 80 to 90%.
  • Melanocyte transplants: Melanocytes and Keratinocytes are extracted surgically from the patient’s skin after giving local anesthesia. These are then cultured overnight after which they are applied or placed on the Vitiligo affected areas. This treatment has a success rate of 95% and works very well if the condition is stable for a period of six months at least.

Phototherapy is used as a maintenance treatment in both melanocyte transplants and skin grafting options. This will stimulate the cells to produce pigments in a faster way

Topical Therapies:

Topical therapies take about four to six months to treat Vitiligo. However, during the treatment if the patient comes across a loss of pigmentation, he/she may require maintenance therapy. Topical therapies include:

  • Topical corticosteroids: If you are still in the early stages of Vitiligo, you can apply topical corticosteroids in different strengths in the areas that are affected, wherever it may be. Nevertheless it is recommended to use a weaker concentration if vitiligo is on your face. Long term use of these may however lead to thinning of the skin.
  • Topical immune-modulators/calcineurin inhibitors: This treatment can improve the immune response of your skin. Pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are used to treat vitiligo here. These medications are very safe and can be used on any area of the body.

Light Therapies:

Various light therapies are used to treat patients with Vitiligo. Some of these involve exposing the patient to UV or Ultraviolet light, the dose of which is controlled. These include:

  • PUVA (Psoralen + UVA) Therapy: If less than 20% of your skin is affected by Vitiligo this treatment could be good for you. UVA light is used here after applying topical medication psoralen to the affected areas. You can see about 50 to 60% results within in about six months of time. You may require maintenance therapy.
  • Narrowband UVB: If you have more extensive disease you can go for Narrowband UVB where in a specific wavelength of 311 nanometers will be administered to the skin in the affected areas. You may come across 60 to 65% results after a year or so of this treatment.
  • Targeted phototherapy: Excimer laser of 308 nanometer wavelength is administered in this therapy. It works well if you have Vitiligo on your face. Within about a month your dermatologist will let you know if this therapy is working for you or not. If it does work, you will see 70% improvement in your condition in about six months of time. Topical medications may be required for maintenance.

Depigmentation:

This treatment includes Stripping the skin of its color and is administered only in extreme cases of Vitiligo. It makes use of the topical medication monobenzone which is supposedly very strong. If you develop a condition of contact dermatitis, you may have to stop the treatment. This would take anywhere from 6 months to one year of time. After this treatment you will have to take extra care not to expose your skin in the sunlight as you may run the risk of getting skin cancer.

Dr. Rashmi and her team members have diagnosed and treated many cases of Vitiligo and helped the patients return to normal lifestyles. Reading a few reviews written by these patients on our Testimonial page will give you a clear idea. You can give us a call and book an appointment with Dr. Rashmi or her team members for a free consultation, which will help you gather information about your condition and the right treatment to go for. At the end of this session, you will also be able to know the exact amount that you may have to spend for your treatment.

Our Experienced Team:

Being a qualified dermatologist, Dr. Rashmi has gained rich experience in treating different kinds of skin problems successfully. Based in Bangalore, she has a clinic that is fully equipped with sophisticated equipment that adopts the latest technology. We sincerely believe that it is very important to enhance one’s appearance in order to boost his/her confidence. If Vitiligo is trying to spoil your appearance, we will help you get treated and gain your confidence back. Our dedicated team of specialists is ready to help in every way until you are completely satisfied with the treatment.

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