Furthermore, the depigmented skin turns sensitive to sun and therefore is quite vulnerable to sunburns and even skin cancer. Vitiligo is the appearance of a single or perhaps multiple depigmented patches on the skin, which develop on any part of the body. These patches are known to gradually increase in size and cause psychological stress amongst patients. It is actually an auto-immune condition and might have a genetic predisposition.
Treatments for Vitiligo usually take a long time. Medical treatments help control the spread of depigmentation and sometimes even restore pigmentation. In many cases, medical therapy can only achieve stabilization of Vitiligo patches, but fails to achieve repigmentation. However, it is possible to achieve repigmentation in cases of stable Vitiligo using different derma surgical techniques. The causes for Vitilgo are unknown but scientists have concluded that it is more likely to develop in patients suffering with autoimmune diseases like hyperthyroidism, and in families who have a history of this skin condition.
Vitiligo patches usually appear on the skin which is most exposed to the sun, which includes the face, lips, neck, arms, chest as well as feet and later on affects other areas of the body. In this condition, the cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for skin pigmentation, are destroyed. This destruction of cells spreads and increases the size and also the quantity of white patches.
Treatments for Vitiligo are helpful in re-pigmenting skin color. However, these treatments do not provide a permanent cure for the disorder. Due to the presence of so many treatments, it becomes difficult to opt for a treatment that is effective and shows quick results.
Vitilgo treatment involves photo therapy or light treatment. Using this method, UV rays are utilized to stimulate the melanocytes or melanin producing cells. Another treatment for Vitilgo involves the grafting of healthy skin on the affected area. Hopefully, the melanocytes present in the healthy skin would start producing melanin and obscure the pale spots on the skin.
Laser Treatment for Vitilgo:
One of the newest treatment procedures for vitiligo is laser treatment. Laser treatment has proved very effective in treating Vitiligo. Similar to photo therapy, laser treatment makes use of ultraviolet rays in order to stimulate the melanocytes in the skin. However, unlike phototherapy, it focuses light by using a laser and therefore proves to be a lot more effective and results in fewer or no side effects.
Laser treatment involves the use of the Excimer laser as well as a unique fiber optic device that helps to focus the light beam on the area that is affected by vitiligo. The device concentrates the light precisely on the affected area while keeping the intensity of light under consideration so that, it is sufficient to effectively treat the area without any risk of over exposure to UV rays.
Laser treatment functions by stimulating the pigment producing cells or melanocytes in the skin. After the melanocytes are stimulated, they start the production of melanin which in turn helps in re-pigmentation. Researchers have recently discovered that laser treatment when used in combination with Tacrolimus ointment provides quicker and far better results. However, since laser treatment is breakthrough and fairly new technology, it could prove a little expensive.
Laser treatment for Vitiligo does not require any hospitalization. Patients can be treated on the same day they inform or consult the doctor. However, before the procedure patients are required to avoid using any cosmetic creams or products on the affected area in order to achieve the best results.
The laser treatment session lasts for less than an hour, depending on the area of treatment. Patients are discharged from hospital on the very same day. The main course of medication following the procedure involves a few analgesics as well as sunscreen lotions. Patients are advised to keep away from direct exposure to sun for at least the first 3-4 days. Patients are able to resume a normal diet and routine activities immediately after the procedure.
However, it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to deciding on any treatment for Vitiligo. The doctor will advise the best treatment depending on your condition, budget and skin type.