Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses melanin, a pigment that determines the color of the skin, hair and eyes. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, causing slowly enlarging white patches of irregular shapes to appear on the skin. The hair that grows on areas affected by vitiligo sometimes turns white. Vitiligo can be caused due to an immune system disorder or heredity reasons may be a factor.
Sometimes sunburn or emotional distresses have also been reported to have triggered this condition in some cases. At Dr.Mushtaq’s we decide on the different treatment techniques depending on the number, size and location of the white patches.
- In PUVA the “P” stands for psoralen which is a medication used along with UVA phototherapy that makes the skin more sensitive to light. PUVA treatments cause inflammation and redness in the skin to develop within two to three days after treatment. Such damage inhibits skin cell proliferation and reduces psoriasis plaque formation. Psoralen is most commonly administered orally is known as Oral psoralen photochemotherapy. This method is used if you have a de-pigmented area that cover more than 20 percent of your body. Topical psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) also called photochemotherapy is effective if less than 20 percent of your body has de-pigmented patches. The amount of time a patient is exposed to UVA rays depends on the skin type.
- Two kinds of Laser are used in the treatment of Vitiligo- Excimer lasers and Pulsed dye lasers. Excimer lasers deliver ultraviolet light that is similar to that emitted in narrowband UVB therapy but more effective. It targets very specific areas of skin and help treat Vitiligo faster and at lower doses while sparing the healthy skin around it.
- Depigmentation can also be used in the treatment of vitiligo if it covers more than half of your skin. Depigmentation therapy lightens the unaffected parts of your skin to match the areas that have already lost color. We continue this treatment until the darker areas of the skin matches the already de-pigmented areas.
- Autologous skin grafts is a type of which uses your own tissues (autologous). In these procedure tiny pieces of skin often containing a small hair is removed from one area of your body and attaches them to another. This procedure is used if you have small patches of vitiligo.