Vitiligo is a chronic medical condition wherein the skin loses its original color in patches because of the death of the melanocytes or due to no production of melanin pigment. Melanocyte cells produce melanin pigment, which provides skin protection from the sun's harmful UV rays.
This skin condition starts with a few tiny isolated white patches. These patches then gradually get bigger, spreading over the body over several months. The condition is photosensitive, which means the affected skin areas become sensitive to sunlight. It can affect people of any gender, ethnicity, or age. Most commonly affected areas of the body from vitiligo include the face, arms, legs, trunk, lips and genital area. Dark-skinned individuals show more visible white patches on their skin which leads to their displeasing appearance. Dr. Rajdeep Mysore, Dermatologist at Charma Clinic, is one of the best vitiligo clinics in Bangalore, where the expert skin doctor provides advanced treatments to manage vitiligo skin conditions.
Vitiligo is neither a contagious disease nor a life-threatening painful condition; rather, it is emotional and psychological distress. However, the white patches of the skin may get painful sunburns if they are not protected from the sun by wearing sunscreens or protective clothing.
Vitiligo may run in families because of some genetic component. Sometimes, it can be associated with other medical conditions like diabetes, pernicious anemia, thyroid dysfunction, and Addison's disease. Consult with the Vitiligo Specialist in Bangalore to know more about the root cause of the concern and to achieve smooth-looking healthy skin.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitiligo
The most often noticeable signs of having vitiligo include
Different Types of Vitiligo
What Causes Vitiligo?
The major cause of vitiligo is still under research as to what exactly causes the death of melanocytes (the skin pigment-producing cells) or the cessation of melanin production. Several different theories explained the major causes of vitiligo that may be related to:
The best vitiligo doctor in Bangalore at Charma Clinic can help manage this skin condition by providing the best medications and treatment and improving the quality of life.
Many remedies can help minimize the visibility of the condition but do not cure vitiligo. These include
1. UVB Phototherapy
It is a common treatment for vitiligo provided at Charma Clinic by expert Vitiligo Doctors in Bangalore. Ultraviolet B light produced from UVB broadband is focused on the skin for a specific time to avoid overexposure. This treatment session can be carried out in a clinic 2-3 times a week or daily at home using a small UVB light-emitting lamp. If combined with other topical treatments, it can more effectively reduce the white patches on the skin and improve re-pigmentation. Charma clinic has one of the best targeted phototherapy lasers which is a type of UVB phototherapy. It gives results in patients who might have failed treatment with regular narrow band UVB treatment.
2. UVA Phototherapy
UVA light can stop or slow the progression of vitiligo. UVA (Ultraviolet A light) and psoralen treatment involve taking medication, to begin with, which helps in enhancing the skin's sensitivity to UV light. It also exposes the skin to high doses of UVA light. This treatment is considered very effective for people with white patches in the neck, head, upper arms, trunk, and legs. A series of twice-weekly treatment sessions shall be conducted in a healthcare setting for about 6-12 months or even longer to improve the condition significantly. To get UVA phototherapy Vitiligo Skin Treatment in Bangalore, consult with a dermatologists at Charma Clinic. UVA treatment can cause dark repigmentation which is much darker than the normal skin tone of the patient. Hence, it is not a popular treatment these days. Psoralens are also known to be toxic to the liver and should be avoided as far as possible.
3. Skin Camouflage
Mild vitiligo can be covered with makeup or other topical cosmetic camouflage solutions according to the tone that matches the natural skin color. Such camouflage creams help blend the white patches with the rest of the skin to go unnoticed. Sunscreen (i.eSPF 30 or above) shall also be applied to shield the skin from UVA and UVB light and prevent uneven tanning and hyperpigmentation.
4. Immune Modulators
Topical preparations of immune-suppressing medications, including calcineurin inhibitors and glucocorticoids, are considered the first line vitiligo treatment and can help with smaller patches of depigmentation.
5. Ultrathin Epidermal Grafting
It is a specialized type of skin grafting. Vitiligo surgery in Bangalore is performed for people with small patches of vitiligo. In this treatment, the skin doctor at Charma Clinic takes a small section of the skin from the healthy pigmented area of the patient's skin and attaches it to the affected area of the skin that has significant loss of its pigments.
6. Suction Blister Grafting
It is another option available to help even out the skin tone. In this procedure, the skin doctor creates blisters on the patient's pigmented skin using suction. In the next step, the doctor transplants the top portion of the blisters to the discolored skin area to match the rest of the skin color. The cost of vitiligo surgery in Bangalore depends on the target body area, the number of grafts transplanted, patient age, doctor experience, and several other factors. Consult with the expert skin doctors at Charma Clinic, the best skin clinic in Bangalore, to know more about cost.
7. Topical Medications
A potent or super-potent corticosteroid is a commonly prescribed topical medication that can be applied to the white patches on the skin. It may also be combined with another medication like a form of Vitamin D to improve results. Corticosteroids work best for dark-pigmented or tanned skin that possesses widespread areas of vitiligo.
This treatment involves the placing of new pigments into the areas of blotchy skin. It is an effective technique that shall be repeated every few years to maintain the natural-looking skin color as the pigments may fade away with time. It is the last resort when no other treatments are working as the colour of tattoo ink may not match the patient's skin tone and fades with time.
Depigmenting the unaffected skin with topical ointments or lotions can be the best option when the affected area is widespread, covering 50% of the body. The topical solutions may comprise certain solutions which can render the skin an even color. It is a vigorous method that may leave the skin more fragile. Hence, protection from the sun throughout life is very important to avoid severe sunburn and melanomas. Depigmentation may take about a year to complete, and the time to visualize the results may vary based on factors like the depth of the normal skin tone.
Exposure of the photosensitive skin to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays increases the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. It can also cause the skin with lost color to burn more easily. Thus sun protection while stepping outside is very important for vitiligo patients. Dermatologists usually recommend wearing a waterproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen (i.e. SPF 30 or above and having a complete UVA/UVB protection) daily at least 15-20 minutes before going out to get protection from the sun.
Sun protective clothing is also important to prevent skin damage. All kinds of clothing cannot protect the person from the sun because of the difference in SPF (Sun protection factor). A long-sleeve denim shirt gives an SPF of about 1,700, whereas T-shirts offer less protection. A white t-shirt tends to give an SPF of 7, whereas a green t-shirt may give 10 SPF.
Tanning beds and sun lamps should be evaded as these are not safe alternatives to direct exposure to sunlight. These also emit harmful UV rays that can lead to sunburn and skin cancer in vitiligo patients.
If a person is willing to add skin-colored pigments to the white patches of the skin, consider using self-tanner, concealing cream, dye, or makeup, which dermatologists recommend. Best results can be achieved from a waterproof product and long-lasting self-tanner. With the right practice, most people can experience natural-looking results with these products.
The tattoo gun punctures the skin with a needle with ink, resulting in wounded skin. It increases the chances of the person developing a new white patch on the wounded skin.
Trauma to the skin, such as cuts or burns, can cause new vitiligo patches to develop. Although accidents can happen, avoid making injuries to the skin.
A healthy body with a properly functioning immune system can be maintained by eating a nutritious, balanced diet and reducing the stress that may trigger vitiligo. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and routine exercises can help minimize stress.
It is important to avoid negative thoughts or feel ashamed, depressed, or self-conscious about their appearance. It is important to stay in touch with others facing the same problem to seek support from each other. They can have improved their quality of life by using medication and psychotherapy. The patients shall ensure a visit to the dermatologists if they are experiencing mental health issues. Chirag Hsopitals’s psychiatry wing, Cogniverse deals with mental health issues that our dermatology patients might experience.
Disclaimer: This website (www.charmaclinic.com) aims to spread awareness about skin, hair, nail problems and their relevant treatments. The information shared here is generic in nature and can not replace the advice/ prescription of a qualified medical professional. Every individual may have different skin, hair, nail concerns and must be treated accordingly. Hence, medications or treatments mentioned on the website shall not be consumed/ utilized unless prescribed by a certified medical professional.