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Vitiligo Skin Disorder: Treatment, Cure

Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which the cells are destroyed. The cells that make pigment in the skin, the tissues that line the interior of the mouth, nose, genital and rectal areas, the inner layer of the eyeball are all areas that can be affected by Vitiligo. The hair in these areas some often turn white.

No One knows for sure what causes Vitiligo, but there are a few theories floating around which include that some people develop antibodies that destroy the melanocytes in their bodies, that melancytes destroys themselves, and some people have stated that a sunburn or even emotional stress brought on the symptoms of Vitiligo. None of these theories have been proven scientifically.

Symptoms of Vitiligo usually begin with white patches on your skin. These white patches usually appear in the sun exposed areas such as hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. Other areas where these patches are common include are the armpits and groin and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, and genitals.

There are three patterns associated with Vitiligo. The first one is the focal pattern; this depigmentation is limited to one area of the body. The segmental pattern is seen only one side of the body. The last pattern is the most common and occurs on different parts of the body and is called the generalized pattern. Many people with Vitiligo not only have white patches on the skin but may also have premature graying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beards. With people with dark skin you may also notice a loss of color inside your mouth.

Vitiligo can spread; many times it does spread to other areas of the body. The spreading is usually slow but in some people it can be very fast. Vitiligo affects each person with different spreading and some may experience no spreading all.

There are several treatment options available for Vitiligo. The goal of these treatments is to restore the function of the skin and to improve your appearance. The current treatments at this time include medical, surgical and therapies that can be used along with both of these treatments.

Medial Therapies include topical steroid therapy which can help with returning the color of the white patches back to their normal color. This therapy is best when used in the early stages of Vitiligo.

Psoralen Photochemotherapy has been noted as being the most beneficial treatment available in the United States. This is a very time consuming treatment and there can be side effects that may be severe.

Topical Psoralen Photochemotherapy is best for people with only a small amount of depigmented patches usually only affecting about 20 percent of the body. This treatment can be used for children of the age of two and above. Side effects do occur with this type of treatment.

Oral Psoralen Photochemotherapy is used for those with severe Vitiligo meaning that over 20 percent of their body has been affected. This treatment will be given two to three times per week. Some side effects do occur.

Depigmentation is a treatment that involves fading the rest of the skin to match the white areas. This may be the best treatment for people who have Vitiligo over 50 percent of their body.

Surgical Therapies are pretty new and should be viewed as experimental. These surgical treatments include:

Autologous Skin Grafts is when a person’s own skin tissue is used to attach to the affected areas. This type of treatment is mainly used with people that have just a few white patches.

With Skin Grafts Using Blisters, the doctor will create blisters on the pigmented skin and then cut off the top of the blisters and transplant the skin graft onto the white patches.

Micropigmentation or tattooing is best for the lip area and those with dark skin. This treatment can fade over time.

Other home remedies that are popular include sunscreens, cosmetics, and support groups or counseling. Sunscreen is used to provide protection from ultraviolet light that may increase the white patches. Cosmetics such as stains, makeup or self-tanning lotions will help to cover up the white spots and is great for those that only have small patches. Since, Vitiligo also affects your appearance it can cause emotional problems. There are several support groups that can help you with all of the emotional aspects of this disease.

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