Vitiligo: Skin Re-Pigmentation Program

Vitiligo: Skin Re-Pigmentation Program

The 20-week re-pigmentation program is designed to re-pigment the white patches noticeable in Vitiligo skin.  There are two components of this program; first of all, during your initial consultation your Dermatologists will prescribe you a combination of topical prescription creams to help reduce inflammation in your skin. The second component is the use of medically prescribed phototherapy to help kick start the pigment producing cells in your skin.


 


  • The Vitiligo re-pigmenting program can start re-colouring white patches of vitiligo.
  • This 20-week program has a re-pigmentation success rate of 80%.
  • Early intervention of Vitiligo ensures a higher success rate.  Vitiligo patches on the face and neck areas respond best, whilst patches on the hands and feet are more resistant to treatment.
  • Dermatologists will tailor a prescription and protocol based upon your type and extent of vitiligo.
  • 2-3 photothearpy sessions per week (spaced evenly within a week) are required to kick-start your pigment producing cells in your patches of vitiligo.
  • If eligible, phototherapy session are Bulk Billed through Medicare. A valid referral is required to ensure that the phototherapy sessions have no out of pocket expense to vitiligo patients.

The science behind our vitiligo program is based upon the very latest in technology and research. The re-pigmentation program uses a combination of topical prescription creams and narrowband UVB phototherapy. Prescription creams help reduce skin inflammation whilst phototherapy awakens the colour producing cells in the skin. The majority of vitiligo patients will start to notice areas of re-pigmentation within a few weeks on this program.

More on phototherapy treatment for vitiligo

Providing treatments which are tailored according to patient’s skin type, location and extent of vitiligo; our success rate for re-pigmenting white patches is in the order of 80%. Most patients will see re-pigmentation within 4-6 weeks of the program.

We cannot predict with absolute certainty as to who will respond best to vitiligo treatments, however as a guide –

  • Excellent responders: early intervention, small patches, face vitiligo, neck vitiligo.
  • Good responders: intermediate vitiligo, intermediate size vitiligo patches.
  • Poor responders: long standing vitiligo, white areas on the hands and feet.

Treatments after the 20-week program will depend on how successful your treatment regime is.

80% of patients will have a moderate to excellent response to treatment and it is advised that you continue phototherapy until your pigmentation is stable. The life time limit of phototherapy is 350 treatments for lighter skin types, and up to 700 treatments for darker skin patients. Phototherapy sessions are bulk billed for eligible patients with a valid referral through Medicare.

20% of patients fail to re-colour their vitiligo despite following the 20-week program. In this subgroup we recommend blending creams to help reduce the visible signs of this condition.

No. This program is only suitable for children over the age of 8. As practice policy we do not recommend phototherapy for children with vitiligo. Children with vitiligo are placed on topical presciption creams which is aimed at reducing inflammation and stimulating re-pigmentation.

Dermatologists who specialise in paediatric vitiligo include Dr Belle Cominos, Dr Paul Teng, Dr Shiva Baghaei, and Dr Tania Zappala. Appointments are readily available.

Call reception on (07) 3871 34 37 to discuss the referral process and appointment times.

This program is suitable for the majority of vitiligo patients. In fact it can be used on all skin types and vitiligo locations including the hands, feet, face, and trunk.

Some patients who are excluded from our re-pigmenting program including-

  1. Patients who have a personal or direct family history of melanoma.
  2. Patients who have a history of photosensitive skin disorders such as lupus.
  3. Patients who can not perform at least 2 sessions of phototherapy per week.
  4. Children under the age of 8.

An assessment by a consultant dermatologist is needed prior to commencement of your vitiligo treatment. During the initial consultation we will assess the extent of vitiligo, conduct any necessary testing, and provide you with a individual treatment plan. We will also discuss the prognosis of your vitiligo. Baseline photographs will also be taken during the initial consultation, as this will give both patient and consultant Dermatologist an indication of your progress.

For adult cases of vitiligo: make an appointment with Dr Davin Lim or Dr Shobhan Manoharan

For vitiligo in children (under the age of 8): make an appointment with Dr Belle Cominos, Dr Paul Teng, Dr Shiva Baghaei, or Dr Tania Zapalla.

For more information on the referral process, call reception on (07) 3871 3437.

*Inter-state patients: Discuss with your GP for a referral to a Dermatologist who provides phototherapy treatment for vitiligo in your State.

An initial consultation with a Dermatologist is required prior to commencement of treatment.  Please visit our price list for up to date costs.

Please contact us for pricing.

Narrowband Phototherapy is fully covered by Medicare with no additional costs to the patient. International patients will have to consult their private health care provider to determine if Narrowband UVB phototherapy is included in their cover (quote item number 14050).  International patients who do not hold a Medicare card are charged at $55 per session.

Private health insurance provides a partial rebate for creams. In some cases creams are covered under the PBS.

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Dr Davin S. Lim
Consultant Dermatologist
Westside Dermatology

Westside Dermatology’s Vitiligo Re-pigmentation program is based upon the very latest research for the treatment of vitiligo. The foundation of this program is the use of anti-inflammatory creams combined with phototherapy sessions. This combination will give re-pigmentation to white patches of vitiligo in the majority of patients. The highest success rates are for early vitiligo on the face and neck areas. Long standing vitiligo on the hands and feet respond poorly to treatments, however in some patients, complete re-pigmentation can be seen.

If we do achieve re-pigmentation at 20 weeks, patients are encouraged to continue with phototherapy as maintenance. Westside Dermatology continue to bulk bill phototherapy sessions if the patient is eligible.


What our clients have said:

“A combination of creams and light treatment and I nearly have my colour back. Extremely happy with the Vitiligo management team at Westside.”

H SIDU - WESTLAKE

“Vitiligo treatments that finally work! I didn’t think treatment was possible until I saw my Dermatologist.”

G KUMAR - SUMNER PARK