Vitiligo is a long-term genetic, autoimmune skin condition characterized by irregular pale white patches or spots on the skin due to loss of pigmentation. It affects about 0.5-1% of the population and it can develop in anyone irrespective of their age, gender, race, or ethnicity. But, it has been seen that about half of the people suffering from vitiligo develop the condition before the age of 20 and about 95% before middle age.
Vitiligo is a benign, non-contagious, and non-life threatening skin concern that can affect any area of the skin, especially on the neck, face, hands, and skin creases. It is mostly noticed in people having brown or black skin. The condition may be stressful for some people and cause embarrassment due to the social stigma attached to it. However, people have the choice to restore the natural/ normal skin color of their affected area. But that doesn’t mean, they will no longer have a loss of their skin color or experience the recurrence of vitiligo.
For people experiencing vitiligo, they can get it managed with the help of dermatological treatments offered at DNA Skin Clinic by the best skin doctor and vitiligo expert in Bangalore Dr. Priyanka Reddy can help one to achieve a smooth-looking skin by managing vitiligo.
Types of Vitiligo
It is the most common type affecting 9 in 10 people suffering from vitiligo. It is a condition where the discolored patches often appear symmetrically i.e. progresses similarly on many corresponding body parts. This can be seen on the arms, back of the hands, knees, feet, elbows, and the skin around the body openings like the eyes.
In this type of vitiligo, white patches show up only on the part or side of the body. This tends to develop in children, progress for about a year or two, and then stop. Usually, it affects 3 in 10 children with vitiligo.
It is a condition wherein nearly the entire body i.e. all skin surface appears discolored/depigmented.
With this type, the affected skin is the hands and face, and around the nose, eyes, and ears-different body openings.
At DNA Skin Clinic, vitiligo treatment clinic in Bangalore, all the advanced treatment options for managing all types of vitiligo are offered by the skin expert Dr. Priyanka Reddy. One can consult her to know more about their treatment options.
Causes, Risk Factors, and Triggers of Vitiligo
The precise reason behind the development of vitiligo is still under research. Melanocytes are the specialized skin cells responsible for producing melanin - the pigment which imparts unique color to our skin. Dermatologists believe that vitiligo (especially generalized type) is an autoimmune condition where the patients have weak or improperly functioning immune systems attacking the healthy melanocytes of the skin. Due to death or improper working of melanocytes to produce melanin, white patches appear on the skin. Sometimes, vitiligo is also associated with hyperthyroidism - another autoimmune condition.
It is believed that segmental vitiligo is caused by neurochemicals that are released by the skin’s nerve endings and are poisonous to melanocytes.
People are at a high risk of developing non-segmental vitiligo if:
They have a genetic tendency towards the condition which means either other family members have some condition or other autoimmune conditions associated with vitiligo.
They have different types of cancers like non-hodgkin lymphoma and melanoma.
They experience certain genetic changes that make them more susceptible to generalized vitiligo.
Skin damage/trauma like severe cuts or sunburn.
Skin exposure to certain chemicals like in industrial or factory jobs.
Vitiligo Treatment Options offered in Bangalore at DNA Skin Clinic
Vitiligo treatment is usually considered by people if it's severe, causing any discomfort, and making the person unhappy. It is done to reduce the appearance of white/depigmented patches but one must know that it cannot stop its spread. The choice of the treatment depends upon multiple factors such as the speed of progression of the disease, age, area of the skin covered, and its impact on quality of life.
For small patches, skin camouflage creams are recommended by Dr. Priyanka Reddy, vitiligo expert in Bangalore that can help hide their appearance, corticosteroid creams that control inflammation can restore the skin pigment to some extent, and calc-ineurin inhibitor ointments can act on the immune system and effectively return the lost skin color.
UVA & UVB Therapies
This includes phototherapy with narrow band UVB light for 2-3 times a week which can take 6 months or longer for full results to be achieved with noticeable desired changes seen in about 1-3 months of the treatment. Another option to restore the color to light skin patches is combining psoralen (taken by mouth) and UVA light therapy.
If the vitiligo is widespread and no other treatment works, depigmentation therapy can be done to remove pigmentation from remaining unaffected skin areas. This is done 1-2 times a day for 9 months or longer.
Patients with stable vitiligo condition (that fails to be treated in all other ways) can even out their skin tone by restoring its color using the following techniques:
At DNA Skin Clinic, all these treatments are performed by Dr. Priyanka Reddy, an experienced skin specialist and she uses her knowledge, experience, and skills to deliver best outcomes.
Do the vitiligo patches spread and get larger over time?
Generalized vitiligo is a progressive condition that leads to unpredictable cycles of stability and keeps spreading further throughout one’s life. Some people have small, white patches on a few body areas appearing gradually while others may have both small and large white patches rapidly appearing. Patients do report to their doctor of years passed without new development of the vitiligo patches and their appearance again years later and some experience spontaneous re-pigmentation without undergoing any treatment. So, it is highly unpredictable.
How is vitiligo diagnosed?
A skin doctor can diagnose vitiligo condition by examining the affected skin area of the patients possibly with a Wood’s lamp (UV lamp) and asking them about their and their family’s medical history and their current health status. Under the special black light focused by Wood’s lamp on the skin, the depigmented areas glow. The healthcare provider may even want to know the impact of vitiligo on the life of the patient. Evaluation of the skin condition might even include skin biopsy and blood tests to check for vitamin D levels, thyroid antibodies/disease, and other autoimmune or general health conditions.
To know about vitiligo treatment cost in Bangalore, schedule an appointment with the dermatologist at DNA Skin Clinic.