What are the options for Treating Vitiligo?

Vitiligo Skin treatment - Sri Ramakrishna Hospital

What are the options for Treating Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a disorder in which the skin loses its color. Although there is no cure yet, there are many medical options available for vitiligo skin treatment.

Downfall of Melanin

Smooth, white areas (called macules or patches) start to develop on the skin. In this condition, melanocytes (specialized skin cells that produce melanin—a chemical that gives skin its color) are attacked by the body’s immune system and are unable to function.

These white patches generally appear on the face, forearms, hands, and feet and usually get bigger with time. Signs also include premature greying of hair. Vitiligo can vary in the amount of skin affected, as some patients experience few pigmented areas while others have extensive loss of skin color. 

The Risk Factor

Research suggests that approximately 1% of the world’s population has vitiligo. Doctors use family and medical history as well as physical tests to diagnose it. 

People with vitiligo may be more likely to develop other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, anemia, hypothyroidism, and Addison’s disease. This disorder affects all races but is more noticeable in people with dark skin. Most develop this condition before the age of 40.

Medicinenet mentions that this disease is not painful and has no significant health consequences. Serious complications may affect the ears and eyes but are very uncommon. However, it can have a deep emotional impact and lead to self-esteem issues; hence, efforts must be taken to learn about and reduce the condition’s severity. 

The cure for vitiligo is unknown to date.

But Don’t Fret Yet

Treatments for this condition exist and depend on the number of white patches, how widespread they are, and how your body reacts to them. Many medical and surgical options can help in restoring the loss of color to the skin. Common treatments include the following:

  • Camouflage Therapy: Use cosmetics like sunscreen to prevent tanning, apply makeup to the depigmented areas, and use hair dye if vitiligo affects the hair.
  • Repigmentation Therapy: Corticosteroids (drugs that help reduce inflammation and immune system activity) can be taken orally or applied as creams or injections. 
  • Light Therapy: Specially filtered ultraviolet light is used to stimulate repigmentation. Exposure to these UVB/PUVA rays may increase the number of melanocytes in the affected areas of the skin.
  • Surgery: Skin grafts involve taking skin from one part of the body and using it to cover another part. Micropigmentation is another type of surgery usually applied to the lips of people with vitiligo.

A healthy diet and outdoor exercise are highly recommended by vitiligo experts. Different treatments work for different people. Some treatments can have unwanted side effects like excessive hair growth and inflammation of the skin.

It’s Also Emotional

Counselling is a key step in treating vitiligo, irrespective of the severity of the condition. This disorder can cause psychological distress and affect a person’s outlook on life as well as their social interactions. Connecting with others people with vitiligo can help combat anxiety and depression.

Doctors at the Skin Specialist Hospital, Coimbatore help with a vitiligo skin treatment, specifically with removing white pigmentation on the face. Everyone must take ownership of their health and contact the best dermatologist in Coimbatore

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, pictures of the affected skin areas can be shared with your doctor online. Following which a skin biopsy or blood test could be suggested to find out more. Choosing a doctor who knows about the disease and its treatment is truly the solution to conquering the disorder. 

While vitiligo is not life-threatening, it can be life-altering as it develops over a period of time.

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