Vitiligo Treatment & Surgery
Vitiligo is an auto-immune skin disease where the skin loses its pigment – melanin and results into white or light patches of skin. It can be treated by many types of treatment categorized as medical and surgical treatment.
The different type of medical treatments are as follows –
· Topical corticosteroid which are the anti-inflammatory medications help in reducing the inflammation and re-pigmentation of the skin.
· Topical calcineurin inhibitors are the immune-suppressing medications which also help in re-pigmentation of the skin.
· Phototherapy where the affected skin portion is exposed to ultraviolet light that stimulates the re-pigmentation.
· Excimer laser therapy is a treatment where laser/UVB light is focused on the affected skin area for stimulation of re-pigmentation.
Oral medications like immune suppressors are considered for suppressing the immune system’s response to triggering factors or medication that increases the skin’s photosensitivity.
Vitiligo Treatment & Surgery
The different type of surgical treatment for vitiligo is as follows
- Skin grafting is a procedure where a portion of skin is removed from the healthy area and transplanted in the affected skin area which has lost pigment
- Micropigmentation involves tattooing the affected skin area with pigment which matches the surrounding skin
- Melanocyte transplantation where the skin pigment-producing cell – melanocyte is removed from the healthy skin portion and transplanted in the affected skin portion for re-pigmentation.
The medical and surgical treatment is selected based on the following factors –
- Severity of the skin condition
- Extent of the skin de-pigmentation spread
- Location of the skin condition
The healthcare providers formulate the treatment plan based on the above factors and patient’s situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. No. Vitiligo cannot be cured but can be managed with the help of different types of treatments and surgeries or a combination of both which help in improving the skin’sappearance and confine the de-pigmentation/ worsening of the skin condition.
A. Yes. The medical treatments of vitiligo are effective and it completely depends upon the individual’s response, the extent of the skin area affected, and the severity of vitiligo. Many people have reported significant re-pigmentation with medical treatment whereas some have experienced minimal improvement.
A. Vitiligo surgeries are conducted under the influence of local anaesthesia where the marked skin area is numbed. During the procedure patient may feel pressure or discomfort and post-surgery, medications are prescribed for pain management.
A. Any kind of surgery is associated with some amount of risk. Similarly, vitiligo surgery too is associated with risks like infection, slow wound healing, or scarring. However, the patient experiences minimum risks and maximum good outcomes.
A. There are no documented ways to prevent vitiligo incidence but following certain precautionary steps can reduce the risk of developing it. The precautionary steps can be like this –
- Protect the skin from sun
- Avoid stress
- Eat healthy and nutritious food to support the immune system
- Avoid skin injury/scraps/burns
- Avoid any triggering factors of vitiligo or auto-immune response
A. The frequency of the treatment or surgery for vitiligo depends upon the individual’s response to treatment and the affected skin area. The healthcare provider is the best to decide on the type and frequency of the treatment plan.