Understanding Vitiligo and How It Can Be Treated
- Posted on: Aug 15 2019
Patients who have blotches of color changes of their skin may be diagnosed with a condition known as vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition that can cause the skin to become discolored in many areas of the face and body. Color loss can occur over time and it may be fast or slow. It can also impact hair follicles and result in an uneven skin tone and appearance.
What causes vitiligo?
Vitiligo results when the cells that produce melanin, the element in the skin that determines its color, stop functioning properly or die. While it is not life-threating or contagious, it can still cause patients stress and embarrassment if they do not have self-confidence in their appearance. Some cases of vitiligo are hereditary, but others may be caused by trigger events or immune system malfunction.
Who is affected by vitiligo?
Patients of all ages, ethnicities, and genders can be affected by vitiligo, though it can be more noticeable on patients who have darker skin due to the color discrepancies of the healthy melanin and the non-healthy melanin areas. Vitiligo can impact any part of the body and can be difficult to predict how it progresses. Rarely will patients experience restoration in the color of their skin after it has developed.
What treatment options are available for vitiligo?
While vitiligo has no cure and cannot be reversed, there are treatment options available for patients to consider helping in stopping or slowing the discoloration process. Once the condition has been diagnosed, patients can then work with their doctor to determine the best treatment option for this condition and its severity.
There are several treatment options that patients have used in the past that have been beneficial. They include:
- Medications to control inflammation and improve the immune system
- Light therapies
- Depigmentation agents
- Skin grafting
- Tattooing (matching skin with ink color)
- Lifestyle changes
- Emotional support for improve self-confidence
Are you suffering from vitiligo and are considering your treatment options?
Speak to the team at Asarch Center for Dermatology, Laser and Mohs Surgery to discuss your treatment options. We have several locations in the areas of Castle Rock, Holyoke, Englewood, and Lakewood, Colorado that can be reached at (303) 761-7797 to request an appointment.