If you have noticed a loss of skin color on your face or other body parts, you may be experiencing vitiligo. Vitiligo affects everyone differently and may cover only a few body parts or the entire body. We know it can make you feel self-conscious and that is why our dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are proud to help you treat your vitiligo. Learn more below about the causes of vitiligo and the procedures we would recommend.
Vitiligo is a disease that causes loss of skin color on various body parts including the hair and inside of the mouth. Skin and hair pigmentation is produced by melanin. When melanin begins to die or stops working, it results in vitiligo. vitiligo’s symptoms may include patchy loss of skin color, premature whitening of your hair, eyelashes or eyebrows, and loss of color inside your mouth. Over time, the areas where color loss has occurred may get larger. Depending on the type of vitiligo you have, it may affect all of your skin, one part of your body, or just the face or hands.
All skin types can be affected but it’s often more noticeable in those with darker skin. It can also begin at any age, but typically starts before the age of 30. It is not a painful skin condition and is not contagious but can leave you feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable in your own skin. Although makeup can help cover up certain areas of discoloration, it is not a permanent fix. Unfortunately, there is no permanent fix, but there are ways to minimize its appearance.
Medications and light-based procedures are the most common treatment options for vitiligo. No treatment or procedure will stop vitiligo from reappearing but treatments can help the current discolored skin. Medications that control inflammation can help return color to the skin when it is in its early stages. Usually a corticosteroid cream is used for this treatment. While effective, it may take months to see results. For those that have smaller areas of discoloration, medications that affect the immune system may be used.
Light therapy is another option. It helps to stop or slow down vitiligo. It can also be used in combination with medications. Light therapy will take place two to three times per week and it can take up to three months to see results. Complete results are seen closer to six months of light therapy treatments. Depigmentation is also a light therapy option. This is best suited for those with vitiligo covering their body or if other treatments did not work. This treatment gradually lightens the skin to blend in with the discoloration. It is a long procedure of nine months, but results in a permanent change.
Different therapies can be tried until you find the right one for your body and skin. We know it may be exhausting and tough testing and trying each procedure, but we know that in the long run the right treatment will be worth it.
We want to help you regain the confidence you once had by helping to treat your vitiligo. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas, complete this form. Our dermatologists will be in touch about getting your vitiligo treatment started.
We look forward to serving you. Please let us know who you are and what kind of skin care services you looking for, and we will be in touch to schedule your appointment.