What are the medical therapies for treating Vitiligo?

Vitiligo also known as Leucoderma is a pigmentation disorder. White patches emerge in skin surface of different parts of your body. It is either caused due to some damage or cracking in the pigment making cell, called as melanocytes. These patches also appear on skin tissues inside mouth, nose and also the retina. Hair growing on the vitiligo affected areas turns white at times.

Causes of Vitiligo:

The main cause of Vitiligo is unknown. This being an autoimmune disease, the depigmentation occurs when a patient’s immune system reacts against their own tissues. In some rare cases, Vitiligo can be hereditary; if parents suffer from the disorder; their kids have chances of developing it. Vitiligo affects people of both sexes equally; but it is noticed prominently in people with dark skinned.

Symptoms:

Leucoderma appears mainly in any of the three patterns:

  1. 1.    Focal pattern: The depigmentation occurs on one or few areas. It is described as mild Vitiligo.
  2. 2.    Segmental pattern: Depigmentation occurs on one side of the body. It is referred to as moderate Vitiligo.
  3. 3.    Generalized pattern: This is a common pattern and depigmentation occurs equally on both sides of the body. It is also called as severe Vitiligo.

The effects of Vitiligo’s on the patient’s body can be noticed through the white patches and deteriorating skin’s functioning. This disorder mainly affects the melanin content of the patient, making it more prone to sun damage. The main goal of the treating Vitiligo is by improving the patient’s physical appearance, restoring skin’s important functions and reducing the skin damage.

Medical therapies:

Steroid therapy:

When started early, topical steroid therapy assists a lot in re-pigmenting the white patches of skin.  Doctors suggest them to apply corticosteroids, a group of drugs that are similar to the hormones produced by the adrenal gland. The results can be noticed after 2 to 3 months of application. Also note that this therapy doesn’t cure Vitiligo but it can be of help.

Psoralen Photochemotherapy:

Even thought a time-consuming procedure, psoralen photochemotherapy proves to be a beneficial treatment for Vitiligo patients. Also referred as psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy. Ultraviolet A is a radiation type that reaches earth’s surface and tans the skin. Psoralens are drugs, which contain chemicals that react with ultraviolet light. Ultra violet rays are exposed to the skin by means of special lamp. Special care must be taken regarding the exposure as over overexposure can be dangerous.

Patients undergoing psoralen photochemotherapy have options of taking psoralen orally as well as topical can be done just by applying the medicine directly to the affected skin.

These medical therapies for Vitiligo are the widely used and offer lots of benefit in treating the condition.

Leave a Reply