Vitiligo is a skin condition, where patient develops white (depigmented) or light colored (hypo pigmented) patches of skin, hair or mucus membranes.The vitiligo patches are in sharp contrast to surrounding normal skin. In vitiligo the skin progressively loses all pigment (color) producing cells called melanocytes and eventually there is no color left in the affected area.
Vitiligo affects about 1- 2 ℅ of the population. It is usually seen by 20 years of age.
Cause of vitiligo: While the exact cause of vitiligo is not known .There are many different causes of vitiligo including autoimmunity,genetics, cytotoxicity, neural etc.
Autoimmunity: here certain types of white blood cells destroy the pigment producing cells in the affected skin.Vitiligo is associated with other autoimmune conditions like hyperthyroidism, adrenocortical insufficiency, diabetes mellitus etc. While heredity and genetics play a role, with children of parents suffering from vitiligo more likely to develop the disease.However most children of vitiligo parents don't get the disease also most patients don't have a family history of vitiligo.
The extent of the disease may vary from patient to patient.Some patients have limited disease with only a few patches while others have extensive disease almost involving the entire skin.In most patients vitiligo develops by 20 years of age.
Vitiligo most commonly affects the sun exposed areas like face, hands, and legs. Other areas like around the mouth, groins and genitals can also be affected.
While vitiligo is not contagious and does not affect the physical functions, it affects the psychological well-being of the patient.In society it unfortunately carries a stigma where the patient fells inferior or depressed due to the negative reactions of others towards the disease.
Diagnosis of vitiligo is based on history and physical examination of skin .
There are many treatment options available which can cause complete disappearance of the white spots of vitiligo.
Medical therapy: in the form of topical application and oral medications which work by inducing production of pigment and modifying the bodies immune response to vitiligo.
a) PUVA therapy this involves medications which work along with sun exposure to produce pigment.
b) Narrow band UVB therapy in which light of wavelengths 311- 312 nm is utilized ,it is presently considered as gold standard for the treatment of vitiligo more than 20 ℅ of body area. It is safer compared to other modalities with fewer side effects.
C) Excimer laser this is the latest in light based therapies for vitiligo ,it uses a 308 nm focused light to give faster results and may induce pigment in resistant patches of vitiligo.
Surgical treatment includes
More than 25 years of experience in treatment of more than 25,000 patients having all types of vitiligo.
All treatment options from medical therapy, narrow band UVB , latest Excimer lasers to all types of vitiligo surgeries are available at cosmazone.