Vitiligo (Skin Fading) Treatment

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Vitiligo (Skin Fading) Treatment

Vitiligo Clinic

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin condition where patches of skin lose melanin, a pigment that gives colors to the skin. It usually starts off by turning the patch of the skin pale and gradually turning it into completely white. It can affect any area of skin.

Types of Vitiligo Cases:

  • Non-segmental Vitiligo
  • Segmental Vitiligo
  • Universal Vitiligo, a rare case where it affects the full body.

Causes of Vitiligo

  • Genes - Having a certain genetic profile makes people more prone to developing this condition.
  • Neurochemicals - Segmental vitiligo, is allegedly caused by chemicals released from the nerve endings which are poisonous to the melanocyte skin cells.
  • Autoimmune Conditions - Non-segmental vitiligo is an autoimmune condition. In these conditions, the immune system doesn’t work efficiently and instead destroys your body’s health cells and tissues.
  • Environmental Factors - Potential triggers include exposure to certain chemicals, sunburn and mechanical trauma

Treatment options for Vitiligo:

  • Oral Medicines
  • Topical Creams
  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) light (PUVA) Therapy
  • Surgical treatment like Skin Grafting
  • Excimer lasers – high-energy beams of light that only target the areas of skin affected by vitiligo.

Recent Advances:

Skin grafting - Normal skin is used as a donor tissue and then grafts are surgically transplanted on areas of vitiligo. The new skin grafts start producing pigment. This technique has a high success rate of upto 90 per cent in most patients.

Melanocyte transplants - The cells of the top layer of skin are obtained surgically under local anesthesia from the patient and then grown in a culture. Once grown, the cells are then placed or applied on the skin’s vitiligo patches. Melanocyte transplants have a very high success rate of 95 percent.

PUVA (Psoralen + UVA) Therapy - UVA light is used with the topical medication psoralen, which is applied to areas of vitiligo prior to light treatment. Psoralen sensitizes the skin to the UVA light, so the light treatment works specifically on areas of the skin affected by vitiligo. Most patients see positive results with the use of this technique.

Narrowband UVB: A specific wavelength (311 nanometers) is administered to the entire surface of the skin to treat areas of vitiligo. On average, patients will experience improvement after 12 to 18 months of therapy.

Excimer laser - In this advance technique, 308 nanometer wavelength is used and only the areas of skin affected by vitiligo receive the laser energy. This therapy works well for the face. The average rate of improvement is 70-80 percent.

Patient's Story