Vitiligo is a relatively common skin disorder, in which the skin loses color and patches of white or lighter skin appear. These spots are caused by the suppression or weakening of melanin production within those areas, resulting in the pigment being destroyed or no longer produced. Vitiligo usually affects the skin, but it can develop anywhere we have pigment. Patches of hair can turn white. Some people lose color inside their mouths. Even an eye can lose some of its color.
If your dermatologist suspects that you have vitiligo, your dermatologist will:
You also may need a blood test to check the health of your thyroid gland. People who have vitiligo often have an autoimmune thyroid disease. A blood test will tell whether your thyroid is healthy. If you have thyroid disease, treatment can successfully control it.
The type of treatment that is best for you will depend on your preference, overall health, age and where the vitiligo appears on your body. Some people choose not to treat vitiligo. Also, new formed vitiligo is more easily treated than older vitiligo.
1. No medical treatment (use cosmetics to add lost color):
Cosmetic options include makeup, a self-tanner and skin dye. This treatment offers safe way to make vitiligo less noticeable and it’s often recommended for children because it avoids possible side effects from medicine.
2. Medicine applied to the skin:
There are several different topical (applied to the skin) medicines that can repigment the skin prescribed for small areas. The most commonly prescribed medicine is a potent or super-potent topical corticosteroid. About half, 45 percent, of patients regain at least some skin color after 4 to 6 months. Topical medicine works best in people with darkly pigmented skin.
3. Xtrac Excimer Laser:
The EXTRAC is the first Excimer Light Therapy system FDA-market cleared to treat vitiligo. The XTRAC utilizes a specific wavelength of light which stimulates the repigmentation of the skin in patients with vitiligo.
Vitiligo cannot be cured, but many treatments help to restore lost skin color. If you have treatment to restore lost skin color, it’s possible that the color will return slowly or incompletely. Sometimes, a treatment does not work.
- American Academy of Dermatology
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