Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go) is a condition that causes skin colour loss in patches. The discoloured areas usually get bigger over time. The condition can affect the skin of any part of the body. It can also affect your hair and the inside of your mouth. The colour of the hair and skin is usually determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when cells that produce melanin die or stop working. Vitiligo affects people of all types of skin, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. This condition is not life-threatening or infectious however it can cause stress and may affect a person’s confidence. Treatment can restore colour to the skin affected. But the continuing loss of skin colour or recurrence cannot be prevented
- What are some common Vitiligo Treatments?
- OTC Products
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- Best vitiligo treatment in Bangalore at Kosmoderma
Your doctor will examine your medical history and your skin, probably with a special light. A skin biopsy and blood tests may also be part of the assessment.
Treatment choices depend on your age, how much skin is involved, where, how quickly the disease progresses, and how your life is affected. Medications and light-based therapies help restore the colour of the skin or even tone of the skin, although the results may vary and are unpredictable. There are significant side effects of some therapies as well. So the doctor might recommend applying a self-tanning product or makeup to try adjusting the appearance of your skin. When you and your doctor decide to use a drug, surgery, or therapy to treat your disease, it can take several months for the process to determine its efficacy. And before you find the white spots on skin treatment that works best for you, you may have to seek more than one approach or a mixture of techniques. Even if the treatment has been effective for a while, the effects may not last, or new patches may appear. To help prevent relapse, your doctor can prescribe medication applied to the skin as maintenance therapy.
The white patches on skin treatment cannot be reversed or stopped by any medicine or drug. But some drugs, used alone, in combination, or with light therapy, may help restore some skin tone.
- Drugs to control inflammation- Applying corticosteroid cream to the affected skin may return to colour. This is most effective if Vitiligo is still in its early stages. This type of cream is efficient and easy to use. But for several months, you will not see changes in the colour of your skin. Possible side effects include thinning of the skin or the appearance of streaks or lines on the skin. Mild forms of the drug may be prescribed for children and people with large areas of discoloured skin.
- Drugs that influence the immune system- For people with small areas of depigmentation, especially on the face and neck, calcineurin inhibitor ointments such as tacrolimus (Protopic) or pimecrolimus (Elidel) may be useful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned about a potential correlation between these medicines and skin cancer and lymphoma.
Some effective home remedies and lifestyle changes for white patches on skin treatment. The following self-care strategies will help you care for your skin and improve its appearance if you have vitiligo:
- Products for makeup and self-tanning will help reduce skin color differences. To find one that fits well with your usual skin tone, you may need to try multiple brands of makeup or self-tanners. It doesn't wash off the coloring of self-tanning products, so it gradually disappears over several days.
- Damage to your skin may cause a new patch of vitiligo.
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- Light therapy- It has been demonstrated that narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy prevents or delays active vitiligo development. When used with corticosteroids or inhibitors of calcineurin, it may be more effective. Counselling may be required two or three days a week. It may take one to three months before you see any improvement, and it may take six months or longer to achieve the full effect. Smaller compact or mobile systems for narrowband ultraviolet B therapy are also available for home use for people who can't go to a doctor's office for treatment. If needed, speak to your doctor about this option as well.
- Removing the remaining colour (depigmentation). When your vitiligo is widespread, and other therapies have not succeeded, this therapy could be an alternative. A depigmentation agent is added to regions of the skin that are untouched. This lightens the skin gradually so that it blends with the discoloured areas. Therapy is performed for nine months or more, once or twice a day.
- Combination of Light Therapy and Psoralen. This treatment combines a plant-derived substance called psoralen with light therapy (photochemotherapy) to restore colour to light patches. You are exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) light after taking psoralen by mouth or applying it to the affected skin. This approach, while effective, is more challenging to manage and has been replaced in many practices by narrow-band UVB therapy.
Light therapy and drugs haven't succeeded? Some people with stable conditions might be candidates for surgery. By restoring colour, the following strategies are meant to balance out skin tone:
- Skin Grafting- Your doctor transfers tiny portions of your healthy, pigmented skin to areas that have lost pigment during this process. If you have small vitiligo patches, this technique is often used. Associated risks include infection, scarring, the appearance of a cobblestone, spotty colour, and failure to recolour the area. Micro punch grafting is the newer technique with less cobblestoning and better results aesthetically.
- Blister's grafting- Your doctor develops blisters on your pigmented skin during this operation, usually with suction, and then transplants the blisters’ tops into discoloured skin. Related hazards include scarring, a cobblestone appearance, and recolouration of the area failure. And another patch of vitiligo can activate the skin damage caused by suction.
- FUE: Hair follicular units are transplanted in between the effected hair follicles which might result in the pigment spread and improvement in those areas.
- Non cultured epidermal cell suspension:This is considered when large areas are involved. Only a smaller donor area as 1 cm2 of donor area can cover 10cm2 of recipient area.