Your Options for Treating Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin disorder that occurs as a result of pigmentation. There are two types of pigmentations basically. One is hyperpigmentation and other is hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a type of skin irregularity that results in dark areas of skin at several places. On the other hand, hypopigmentation is the loss of pigment, which causes white patches on the skin. Vitiligo is not a harmful disease; however, it grabs away a person’s beauty all at once. In fact, a person suffering from vitiligo loses his or her confidence altogether. Though there are no medicinal cures for vitiligo, there are some ways one can even out skin tone.
Because there are no known causes of vitiligo, a multifaceted approach towards vitiligo should be adopted. When it comes to overcoming vitiligo, there are some common treatment options. Here is a brief description of each treatment for vitiligo:
Restoration of Pigment
The oldest treatment option for vitiligo is restoring pigmentation, because vitiligo occurs due to the loss of pigment that decides the color of the skin. There are two techniques that are used in order to restore pigment; one is phototherapy and other is photochemotherapy. In Phototherapy UVA and a very narrow band of UVB rays are used to restore the pigmentation. On the other hand, photochemotherapy involves UVA rays and photoactive chemicals, such as Psoralen and Khellin. However, there are some downsides of phototherapy, such as blistering and hyperpigmentation of the unaffected areas of the skin.
If vitiligo is very mild to moderate, it can be concealed by makeup. There are various skin concealers that can be used to restore the color of depigmented areas of the skin. If a person with pale complexion is suffering from vitiligo, the depigmented skin should be protected against sunlight. There are waterproof sunscreens that provide protection against UVA and UVB rays. A person with should use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Sunscreen should be applied after every hour to avoid coming in contact with sun rays. Vitiligo patient should use sunscreen even after bathing and swimming.
When vitiligo is very severe and other options fail to treat it, surgery is used. Surgery is carried out on melanocytes in the skin. When it comes to vitiligo surgery, there are two options; grafting melanocyte rich tissues and grafting melanocyte cells. There are various side risks associated with vitiligo surgery, most common of which are scarring and graft failure.
Depigmentation of Remaining Skin
When surgery fails to bring the desired results, the only option left is destroying the remaining skin areas. Hydroquinone with a percentage of 20 is used to discolor the unaffected areas of the skin. Though the results are expected in a month, but in some cases 10 months may be required to see the wanted results. Skin burning can be caused as a possible side reaction of vitiligo.
So whenever you see the first patch of discoloration appear, you should contact a skin specialist. Don’t go for home based remedies, because they can cause more harm than good. Vitiligo can snatch away your beauty, so be careful when treating it and never lose hope!