Vitiligo causes white patches on your skin, but can also affect your eyes, mouth, and nose. It occurs when the cells that give your skin its color are destroyed. No one knows what destroys them, but vitiligo has been found to be more common in people with autoimmune diseases. The white patches of vitiligo are more common where your skin is exposed to the sun, and in some cases, the patches can spread. Using sunscreen will help you protect your skin, and there are a number of treatments like medicine, light therapy, and surgery that can help you treat your vitiligo, but not every treatment is right for everyone.
Vitiligo was generally thought to be an autoimmune disease, in which a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own body, or the melanocytes in this case. The melanocytes of people who have vitiligo appear unable to deal with the imbalance of antioxidants and harmful free radicals in the body, which results in cell damage and death.
How is Vitiligo Treated?
It is unusual for vitiligo to resolve on its own, although in some cases, it may. In most situations, patients must seek treatment to improve the look of their skin if they suffer from vitiligo. Treatment for vitiligo is customized according to the patient. Although there is no known cure for vitiligo, there are ways to improve the overall skin appearance. Treatments may include topical steroid creams and ultraviolet light therapy. While it may not be completely eradicated, the appearance of vitiligo can be greatly reduced with the use of the right customized therapy.
For light therapy treatments, the affected skin is exposed to UVB light several times a week at a clinic. Light therapy can be used in combination with topical medications that are applied to the skin to be more effective. These topical medications include topical steroids, calcineurin inhibitors, topical vitamin D. Topical medication may also be used on their own, without light therapy, although when used together, patients usually tend to see better results.
There are key factors about treatment options that will help you determine which is best for you, depending on your age, preference, overall health, and where the vitiligo appears on your body. Some people choose to not treat vitiligo, but those who do have a number of options and a wealth of resources to choose from.
Personalized and Mindful Approach to Treatment
A diagnosis of vitiligo can be life changing, and patients may struggle with self-esteem or depression because of it. People with vitiligo may have to deal with a social stigma due to a large misunderstanding about the contagiousness of the condition. Vitiligo is not contagious, but people who are unfamiliar with it may simply not know any better.
If you have vitiligo and are seeking treatment, then schedule an appointment with our dermatologists in Denver. Our staff is extremely kind and caring, helping each patient create singular plans for treatment for their vitiligo. For any questions about our treatment options, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.