Vitiligo

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition in which your skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the colour of your skin. Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease where the person’s own immune system starts attacking the pigment producing cells.

It usually affects 1-2% of the population (that is 1or 2 of every 100 people are affected). Vitiligo usually starts as small areas of pigment loss that spread and become larger with time.

Vitiligo is believed to be a multisystem disorder that can have other auto-immune comorbidities. A proper assessment to determine the presence and severity of these comorbidities is needed. There are basically 2 components of therapy – First is to stop the spread of the disease and second is to refill colour. There are different ways of doing that and it differs from patient to patient. If you have tried medical therapy and have not achieved desired results, you can consider surgical options like suction blister grafts/non cultured melanocytes suspension.

NO. Vitiligo does not spread by touch. It is a sign of ignorance if one avoids touching the person who has vitiligo.

The present scientific material does not support any co-relation with food. No food restrictions are required in the diet.
Dr. Agarwala says “I find it very annoying to deprive someone of lemon, curd, tomatoes or pickles just because of the popular belief that such foods cause further spread of leukoderma”.

The conventional treatment comprises of use of

  • Corticosteroids (local and oral).
  • Psoralen.
  • Immunosuppressants such as Cortisone, Tacros.
  • Phototherapy.
  • Skin grafting and cosmetic surgery, etc.

Patients who have stable Vitiligo patches for a period of at least 6 months to 1 year are good candidates.

Normal skin is used as donor tissue and then grafts are surgically transplanted on areas of vitiligo. The new skin grafts start producing pigment. There are newer methods available too, wherein melanocytes (pigment producing cells of skin) are obtained surgically under local anesthesia from the patient and then placed or applied on the skin’s vitiligo patches.

Success rates of surgical repigmentation vary with the type of Vitiligo and individuals. 100% success is observed in Segmental and focal leucoderma, 90%-100% in generalized Vitiligo, 70-80% in leucoderma of finger tips, greater than 75% is considered as success.

M A Skin & Hair Clinic