What Is Vitiligo and How Is It Treated?

Young,Woman,With,Vitiligo,Posing Nearly 2.8 million people in the United States have vitiligo. This autoimmune skin disorder causes discoloration of the skin. Although this condition does not cause any pain or dryness, many individuals desire to restore their natural skin color.

Available Treatment Options

Several treatment options are available to help individuals cosmetically address vitiligo.

Medications

Although there are no medications available to stop vitiligo, there are some that can be used to restore some color. Common medications prescribed for patients include:

  • Inflammation control medications: Corticosteroid cream can help restore color to treated areas. This treatment may require several months of applying cream to the affected area daily before you see any color restoration. Patients can also take pills, injections, or creams with a higher concentration of medication.
  • Immune system medications: Some patients can benefit from Calcineurin inhibitor ointments. These medications can help restore color in smaller areas, particularly on the face and neck.

Therapies

Several forms of therapy can also help. These include:

  • Light therapy: The use of phototherapy with narrow-band ultraviolet B can help halt or slow progression. This therapy will need to be provided two to three times weekly for one to three months before results are noticeable.
  • Psoralen and light therapy: Combining these treatments can help return color to lightened patches. You will have to take psoralen medication orally and undergo ultraviolet A light exposure afterward.
  • Depigmentation: Rather than focusing on restoring color, individuals who have widespread vitiligo may also benefit from depigmentation. This therapy gradually lightens the skin.

Surgery

Several surgical options also exist to help patients who have concerns about vitiligo. Common surgeries include:

  • Blister grafting: This process involves using a suction to create blisters on the affected skin. The top of the blister is then transplanted to the top of the blister to restore color.
  • Cellular suspension transplant: This surgery requires taking surgery from the pigmented skin and placing the cells in a solution. The cells are then transplanted to the affected area to restore color.
  • Skin grafting: This surgery involves removing very small sections of healthy skin and transporting them to affected areas of the skin.

Several factors will determine which treatment is appropriate for you. It is best to discuss your options with our team at First OC Dermatology.

Schedule an Appointment Now

Our team at First OC Dermatology has more than three decades of experience serving patients with a variety of skin concerns throughout Southern California. We are committed to providing quality services to each patient to help them regain confidence and love their skin. To see how we can help you, contact our Irvine, CA, office by calling (949) 679-9997 or our Fountain Valley, CA, office by calling (714) 531-2966 to schedule an appointment.

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