The doctor will ask about your medical history and examine your skin, likely using a special lamp. Your evaluation may also include a skin biopsy and blood tests.
The choice of treatment depends on your age, the area of affected skin and the areas of spread, how quickly the disease is progressing, and how it affects your life.
Light-based medications and treatments are available to help restore or even tone the skin, however results vary, and some are unpredictable. Some treatments also have dangerous side effects. Therefore, your doctor may suggest you initially try changing the appearance of your skin by applying self-tanning products or using cosmetics.
If you decide to treat your skin with a drug, surgery, or a treatment, the entire process may take several months for its treatment and effectiveness. You may have to try more than one treatment method or a combination of several techniques before you find the one that works for you.
Even if treatment is successful for a while, the results may not last, and new spots may appear as well. Your doctor may recommend applying medication to the skin as a preventative treatment to help avoid a relapse.
There is no medicine that can stop the Vitiligo process – the loss of melanocytes (melanocytes). But dermatologist in Islamabad recommends some drugs, when used alone, in combination, or with light therapy, can help restore some skin color.
Drugs that control inflammation. Applying a corticosteroid cream to the affected skin may restore its color. This is most effective when vitiligo is in its early stages. This type of cream is effective and easy to use, but you may not notice a change in your skin color for several months. Possible side effects include thinning of the skin or the appearance of streaks or streaks on your skin.
Milder drugs can be prescribed to children and people with discoloration of the skin over large areas.
For people whose condition progresses quickly, corticosteroid pills or injections may be an option.
Drugs that affect the immune system. Calcineurin inhibitor ointments, such as Protopic) , may be effective for people with small areas of pigmentation, especially on the face,neck and other parts of body. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned of a possible link between these drugs and lymphoma and skin cancer.
Photodynamic therapy. Ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy has been shown to halt or slow the progression of active vitiligo. It may be most effective when used with corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors. You will need to treat two to three times a week. It may take anywhere from one to three months before you notice any change, and it may take six months or more to get the full effect.
Given the FDA’s warning about the potential risk of developing skin cancer when using calcineurin inhibitors, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using these drugs in conjunction with phototherapy.
For people who cannot go to the doctor’s office for treatment, small portable or hand-held devices are available for narrow-band UVB therapy for home use. Talk to your physician about this option as well, if needed.
Potential side effects of narrow-band UVB treatment include redness, itching and burning. These side effects usually disappear within a few hours after treatment.
Combination therapy using psoralen with phototherapy. This treatment is combination of a plant-derived substance called psoralen and photochemotherapy. After you take psoralen by mouth or apply it to affected skin, you are exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Although this approach is effective, it is more difficult to implement and has been replaced in many practices with narrow-band UVB treatment.
Removal of residual color (depigmentation). This treatment may be an option if vitiligo is widespread and other treatments have not worked. This gradually lightens the skin, blending in with discolored areas. The treatment is carried out once or twice a day for nine months or more.
Side effects may include redness, swelling, itching, and severity of dry skin. The depigmentation removal has a permanent effect.
If light therapy and medication do not work, some people with stable disease may be candidates for surgery. The following methods aim to unify the skin tone by restoring its color:
Skin grafting. In this procedure, your doctor transfers tiny portions of your healthy, pigmented skin to areas that have lost pigment.
Potential risks include inflammation, scarring, the appearance of pebbled stones, discoloration, and failure of the area to restore color.
Potential risks include scarring, the formation of the appearance of pebbles, and failure of the area to restore color.
Implantation of the cell suspension. In this procedure, your doctor takes some tissue from your pigmented skin, puts cells into a solution and then implants them into the affected, infected area. The results of the repigmentation process begin within four weeks.