Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go) is a skin disease in which skin starts losing its original color and turns up to white patches. The problem can occur at any stage or age. The expansion and rate of skin color loss are unpredictable. It may happen to all types of people but darker people may have the more visible signs. Sometimes, it cures very easily and sometime it may stay for a long. It can affect any skin area of the body. it may also affect the hairs and mouth as well.
As per the dermatology, skin Colour depends on the melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the melanin dies or stops working. Vitiligo is not painful, life-threatening and contagious.
Causes of Vitiligo:
- It occurs due to non-production of melanin when pigment-producing cells- melanocytes die.
- The attack on Immune System or autoimmune disorder
- Family History or heredity
- Sun exposure or sunburn
- Chemical exposure
The basic cause is the death of melanin or skin cells. The actual reasons for skin cells death are still unclear. If the Vitiligo does not create at the right time, it may lead to severe risks such as:-
- Social & Psychological distress
- Sunburn and skin cancer if skin is not protected
Symptoms of Vitiligo:-
Vitiligo starts with a small patch and then starts spreading across the body slowly if not treated. It may take a week, or a month or a year to spread. The vitiligo signs are uneven in shape and after a time, there are chances of inflammation . Generally, it does not cause any discomfort, irritation, soreness, dryness of the skin.
Vitiligo may occur to the people having the age of 20 or less, although it may occur to the people having the age of more than 40.
- The appearance of white spots or patches on the skin
- Visible Lighter Patches on the dark or tanned skin
- The cycle of pigment loss and stability
- Discoloration on the hands, feet, arms, face, lips etc
- Patchy loss of skin color
- Whitening or greying of hair of the scalp, eyelashes, eyelids or beard.
- Loss of tissue color that lines inside the mouth and nose
Possible symptoms are white patches only which may spread by the time.
Types of Vitiligo:-
- Non-segmental Vitiligo: When white patches cover both sides of the body, It is called non-segmental vitiligo. 90 % of cases belong to that kind of patch problem as affected areas are more exposed to the sun.
- Segmental Vitiligo: This is not very common and occurrence rate is 8-10% only. This is less erratic in nature. It affects the one side of the body.
Diagnosis of Vitiligo:-
- Medical History and Physical Examination
- Skin Biopsy
Treatments of Vitiligo:-
Some treatments may help to restore the skin color and skin tone although it may bring some side-effects. At an initial stage, a doctor will always recommend improving the skin tone by using self-tanning products. There are various approaches are used to treat the problems which are:-
- Medicinal Treatment
- Light therapy
Choice of the Treatment will depend upon the disease and doctor's suggestion.
- Medications Applying corticosteroid Cream to the affected areas may help to get back the skin color if it is started at the early stage. The results are invisible for several months. The creams have some side-effects such as skin thinning, or streaks line on the skin. Mild usage is allowed in case of children and people having the sensitive skin. There are some medications which are prescribed to improve the autoimmune system which may also affect to cure the depigmentation on the face and the neck.
- Therapies One of the well-known therapy is to use the Light theapy with psoralen. The photochemotherapy helps to return back the even color. After taking the psoralen through oral or application, UVB lights are exposed in the affected areas. It brings better results if used with the right medications. One may need to repeat the treatments up to 3 times a week for 6-12 months. Depigmentation therapy is used if the vitiligo has been spread to the whole body. Depigmented agent is applied to the unaffected areas of the skin to make the skin tone similar. The therapy is performed once or twice a day for nine months or longer depending upon the disease type. Therapies may bring the side-effects such as redness, swelling, itching, dry skin etc.
- Surgery:- If light therapies don's work, then surgical treatments can be adopted. The motive of the treatment is to an even the skin tone by getting back the skin color
- Skin Grafting: In this process, the small patches of the normal skin is removed and attached them to areas that have lost the pigment.It is useful for the small patches of vitiligo.
- Blister Grafting: In this process, small blisters are created on the pigmented skin with the suction and removed. Then these blisters are transplanted to the discolored skin area.
- Tattooing (Micropigmentation): This is the most effective technique in which pigments are implanted into the skin. It is highly effective for the darker and tanned skin.
Only an expert dermatologist can evaluate the right type of treatment. Contact our Centre to get effective Vitiligo Treatment in Gurgaon.
Dr. Jasdeep Kaur
MBBS , DDVLDoctor Profile