What are the treatment options for vitiligo?

There are some treatments available to help restore skin to its natural color. The results of these treatments are unpredictable and may vary from person to person. People may also opt to receive no medical treatment for vitiligo and may use cosmetics to cover up their affected skin. 
 
Potential treatment options for vitiligo include:

 

  • Anti-inflammatory creams such as corticosteroid creams may be helpful in returning color to the skin, especially if it is used early in the disease. 
  • Ointments containing medications affecting the immune system may be used in smaller areas of the skin that are affected. These may be used instead of corticosteroid creams because they have fewer side effects. 
  • Psoralen and light therapy: Psoralen is a plant-derived substance that can sometimes be combined with light therapy in order to treat vitiligo. During this treatment, you would first either take psoralen by mouth or apply it to the skin. Then ultraviolet light is shined on the skin. 
  • Depigmentation may be an option for people with more widespread vitiligo. It involves making the unaffected skin lighter so that it blends in with the skin affected by vitiligo. 
  • Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that involves the doctor removing parts of one’s unaffected skin and using it to cover the parts of skin affected by vitiligo. 
  • Blister grafting is a procedure where the doctor creates blisters on the unaffected skin using suction. Then the doctor removes the tops of the blisters and places it over the skin affected by vitiligo. 
  • Tattooing involves the doctor using a special instrument to implant pigment into the skin much like tattooing. It is usually most affective around the lips. 
 
vitiligo treatment lip tattoo procedure
 
 

Sources:
  • "Vitiligo." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 May. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2018.
  • “Vitiligo.” American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. AOCD, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2018. 
  • “Vitiligo.” American Academy of Dermatology Association. AAD, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2018.

 

 

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