Vitiligo

Vitiligo is an acquired, idiopathic, progressive whitening of the skin and hair characterized by destruction of pigment producing cells in the skin called melanocytes. Vitiligo appears to affect at least 1% to 2% of the population, irrespective of sex, race, or age and 50% begin before age 20. The more dark skinned a person is, the more their vitiligo stands out, because of the contrast between affected and unaffected areas of skin. People from families with an increased prevalence of thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, and vitiligo appear to be at increased risk for development of vitiligo.

What is vitiligo?

A depigmenting disease of unknown origin that causes destruction of melnocytes.

Can vitiligo be curable?

There is a rapid advancement in the field of treatment for vitiligo. Various treatments, medical and surgical either alone or in combination ranging from topical to systemic medications are available. Appropriate treatment will be planned by the dermatologist depending on your case.

What is the treatment of vitiligo?

Though treatment of vitiligo is not very satisfactory, reasonable improvement can be expected in several patients. Treatment depends on age of patient, extent and pattern of vitiligo, cosmetic disabilty and effect on quality of life. A dermatologist will assess and advice appropriate treatment.

Is treatment of vitiligo impossible?

This is clearly not true and the majority of patients can achieve good results.

Is oral psoralens, which form the basis for some vitiligo treatments are toxic to the liver?

Oral psoralens are not toxic to the liver.

Is psoralen + Ultra Violet -A (PUVA) treatments for vitiligo cause cancer of the skin?

When used to treat vitiligo, PUVA therapy requires only a limited number of treatments-approximately 150 in number that has not been shown to cause skin cancer.

If I have vitiligo, will my children develop it?  

There is no definite mode of inheritance however; siblings may or may not develop. One need not be anxious regarding it. 8.

Will the patches reoccur?

Most probably the patches may not reoccur. However in some instances it may reappear. Appropriate treatment will be needed for the same

When do you advise surgery for vitiligo patches?

We assess whether a patient is suitable for the surgery. A patch that remains stable for 6 months, site of transplantation and underlying medical conditions. 

 
 
 

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