Vitiligo or the ‘white spot’ is not a medical disorder, yet it has been frustrating 1-3% of the population. It is characterized by areas of hypo or de-pigmentation on the skin surface due to destruction or loss of melanocytes. These are areas where the normal pigmentation of skin is missing or deficient. These spots can be many or few; they may be tiny or cover the body. While it is not a serious or life-threatening disorder, it has an impact on the social and psychological well-being of the people affected.
Vitiligo can be localized or generalized, stable or spreading, have childhood or adult onset. This is not a medical disease. As per SkinCity’s philosophy it is not a disease at all.
To bust a few myths about Vitiligo:
- It is not genetic. It is familial like diabetes
- It is not contagious and is definitely not leprosy
- It is not incurable
- It does not affect any internal organs or body function
- It is only skin deep
Treatment options include Daavlin Foton therapy(Foton A &Foton B), 308nm excimer light and laser, Immuno therapies and surgery. Skin City is the largest Vitiligo treatment center and has treated thousands of patients. Skin City has invented a new technique, Vitiligo mini skin grafting called ‘Cyanoacrylate lamination technique’. This research was selected to be presented at an international conference of ASDS (American Society of Dermatology and Surgeons), Washington DC in 2011.
All Vitiligo patients can undergo the treatment. However, patients with facial, neck, arm and trunk patches are ideal candidates for this treatment. Patients of old age, people with uncontrolled diabetes and those with involvement of more than 60% of the body surface are discouraged from treatment.
No one treatment is ideal. Each individual treatment has its own benefits and disadvantages. The ideal treatment is a combination of different modalities. This combination therapy is customized depending upon the age, duration, type of Vitiligo, area and extent of the disease.
No treatment gives a necessarily permanent cure. Depending on the prognosis, the remission period may vary. De-pigmentation of the treated area may not occur for a long period of time or in some cases the cure is even permanent.
Vitiligo is autoimmune disease where the body’s own white blood cells develop antibodies. These antibodies kill our own color cells or melanocytes. The most logical treatment would be to suppress the abnormal white blood cells or autoimmunity which is commonly achieved through administration of steroids. Arresting the spread of disease is called disease stabilization. Oral steroid tablets are immuno-suppressive and offer temporary disease stabilization. After stopping the treatment Vitiligo starts spreading again. If you continue the medicine for longer periods side effects will start. Another way of achieving disease stabilization is by targeting skin harming white blood cells with full body Foton therapy. Recent research has shown that the role of skin white blood cells (patch stability) is more important than those of the blood circulation (global stability). External stabilization of the disease eliminates the need of systemic steroids and hence makes the protocol safer.