Vitiligo is a condition in which the pigment (melanin) in the skin gradually begins to disappear. It typically affects the skin but can also affect hair and the inside of the mouth. Melanin gives skin and hair its color, but in people with vitiligo, the cells that generally produce pigment simply stop doing so. As a result, patches of skin become lighter and lighter than the surrounding area.
Though vitiligo is more noticeable in people who have darker skin due to the contrast of the lighter patches, it can affect absolutely anyone. Most people who have vitiligo begin to notice the symptoms during childhood. Some of the complications that may result from vitiligo include eye/vision problems, hearing loss, sunburn, and even psychological distress as the result of the “different” appearance.
Treatments vary depending on the client’s age, the severity of the condition, and the part of the body affected by vitiligo. They often consist of a mix of medications and therapies, including anti-inflammatory drugs and immune suppressants as well as light therapies and depigmentation of the surrounding skin. In some cases, surgery may be a better option. This may include skin or blister grafting or even cellular suspension transplant, which can essentially move healthy cells that still produce pigment to the parts of the skin that have stopped producing pigment.
To learn more, or to start treatment for vitiligo, contact Premier Dermatology to schedule your consultation today.