Vitiligo, or the loss of pigment cells, can be a challenging condition to have. Finding an appropriate treatment method can boost your morale and slow the process of pigment cell deterioration. There are several options available that you can discuss with your dermatologist. Read on to discover more about these options.
Unfortunately, no magic medication can stop vitiligo in its tracks. However, some can restore color to the areas where pigment has been lost.
When vitiligo is in the early stages, applying a corticosteroid cream to the affected areas may return the color. However, the effects may not be noticed for several months. Additionally, side effects include thinning of the skin and the appearance of streaks or lines in the application area.
For those with smaller areas of depigmentation, calcineurin inhibitor ointments may be effective. These work particularly well on the face and neck. However, the FDA has advised there is a possible link between these medications and lymphoma and skin cancer.
Phototherapy that uses narrow-band ultraviolet B or UVB has been demonstrated to effectively slow or even stop the progression of active vitiligo. Its effects may be even more profound when combined with corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors. Therapy will be required two to three times weekly, and it may take one to three months before any changes are noticed.
An alternative therapy is the removal of the remaining color or depigmentation. This therapy is more of a last resort when your vitiligo is widespread and other treatments didn’t come through. A depigmenting agent is applied to the areas that are unaffected by your vitiligo by your dermatologist for vitiligo Philadelphia to gradually lighten the skin until it blends with the discolored areas. This is completed one to two times daily for a minimum of nine months.
Surgery is an option when medication and light therapy have failed. Skin grafting is a process where your doctor will transfer small sections of your pigmented skin to areas affected by vitiligo. This is generally used when you have small patches of vitiligo.
Blister grafting is a procedure in which your doctor will create blisters on your pigmented skin. The tops of these blisters are then transplanted to the discolored skin.
In a cellular suspension transplant, your doctor will take some of the tissue from your pigmented skin and place the cells into a solution. These cells will then be transplanted onto the affected area. The results of this procedure generally begin appearing within four weeks.
Turn to a Dermatologist You Can Trust for Your Vitiligo Therapy
If you need a dermatologist for vitiligo in Montgomery County, PA, turn to Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists. Call us today at (215) 999-SKIN to book your appointment.