Vitiligo is a skin condition where it loses the pigment that determines the color of the skin, eyes and hair. This pigment is called melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cell producing melanin no longer forms, or when melanin die; causing gradually enlarging white patches of uneven shapes to appear on the skin.
The main goal of a vitiligo treatment is to improve appearance. The treatment completely depends on the number of white patches, their sizes, location and how widespread they are. Therapy for Vitiligo can take from 6 to 18 months. Current Vitiligo treatments include surgery, medication and therapies.
Vitiligo Treatment Via Medical Therapies
A medical therapy can reduce the appearance of white patches. Here are some commonly used medical therapies.
Topical Steroid Therapy
Steroid cream can re-pigment white patches if started in the initial stage of Vitiligo. Doctors may prescribe mild topical corticosteroid for the children and stronger one for adults. The cream is applied on the white patches. It may take at least three months before seeing any results.
Corticosteroid creams are the safest and simplest Vitiligo treatment. Doctors will monitor the patients closely for any side effect.
It is also known as (PUVA) Psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy which is the most effective Vitiligo treatment. In this therapy, Psoralen contains a chemical that react with ultraviolet light to cause re-pigmentation or darkening of the skin.
The treatment involves taking it orally or topically which is applying it on the skin. It is explained below.
Topical Psoralen Photo-chemotherapy is the treatment which is done once a week under artificial ultraviolet light in doctor’s office. This treatment is effective for patients with small number of white patches in a limited part of the body.
The doctor applies a coat of Psoralen on the De-pigmentation patch for 30 minutes and expose it to the UVA light. The UVA dose is increased slowly over many weeks and eventually the normal skin color appears.
Oral use if for people who have not responded to topical treatment. It is appropriate for extensive Vitiligo who has the affecting area more than 20 percent on the body.
For oral therapy, patient take the medication by mouth. After two hours of taking prescribed dose patient is exposed to artificial UVA light or sunlight. This treatment is used at least two times in a week.
De-pigmentation treatment is used for people who have white patches on more than 50 percent of the body. In this treatment rest of the skin on the body area is faded to match the white patch area. People use monobenzone twice a day to pigmented area until they match the affected areas.
De-pigmentation is permanent and people who undergo this treatment will be sensitive to sunlight.
Although not as effective as medical procedures, there are also plenty of books and websites available about vitiligo natural treatments using herbal mixes and vitamins. If you are interested in learning more, make sure to look up Michael Dawson and his Natural Vitiligo Treatment System.