A specialist Dermatologist is the best person to assess and manage vitiligo. It is important to establish a diagnosis, search for any associated autoimmune conditions and discuss prognosis and treatments; including the success rate of various treatments in relation to the patient’s pattern of vitiligo.
The use of phototherapy combined with creams will give the highest success rate for the treatment of vitiligo.
As an guide the following options are available:
This is an option if the patient has very fair skin. Strict sun protection is important with at least SPF30+ sunscreens applied daily and reapplied as directed, protective clothing and sun avoidance.
This is achieved with make-up and topical dyes including self tanning lotions. We recommend Dermablend as the make up of choice for Vitiligo patients
In order to re-pigment the skin, new pigment cells must be produced from existing ones. These pigment cells come from the base of hair follicles, or from the edges of the white patches.
Creams treatment for vitiligo includes topical corticosteroids, Vitamin D creams and Calcinurin inhibitiors. Although not completely understood, steroids may be helpful in repigmenting the skin particularly if started early in the condition and where only a few patches or spots need to be treated. They are often used to halt the spread of vitiligo.
Patients must apply the cream or ointment to the white patches on their skin for at least 3 months before seeing any results. It is the simplest and safest treatment but not as effective as some others. This treatment must be carefully monitored by a specialist Dermatologist as steroids can thin and damage the skin if not carefully monitored. Your treating Dermatologist will closely monitor the patient for side effects such as skin thinning and skin striae (stretch marks); because of these side effects, steroid creams and ointments should not be used for extended periods of time. Your Dermatologist may combine Vitamin D creams with new calcineurin inhibitors as part of your skin re-colouring program.
ReCell® is an exciting new technology which is a stand-alone autologous cell harvesting device which utilizes the patient’s own skin cells to regenerate pigmentation. This procedure starts noticing results within 2 months however full results are noted after 12 months.