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What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligio is a skin condition that effects skin coloration because of dead or unfunctionanble cells. These cells, known as melanocytes, are responsible for pigmentation.

What Causes Vitiligo?

Though a direct cause for Vitiligio is unknown, many specialists have determined that the condition is based on the destruction of melanin in the body. What this means is, coloration is distorted in the skin leading to patches of lighter (white) skin onto the body.

Early Signs of Vitiligo:

With vitiligo the earliest signs will be noticeable patches of light skin on the hands, wrists, and face. These patches might start off small initially, but will continue to grow. It is noted that vitiligo is developed at an early stage of life (between the ages of 10 and 30). The condition is also hereditary, meaning if someone in your family has Vitiligo, chances of it being passed onto later generations is incredible likely.

What are the Types of Vitiligo?

Segmental Vitiligio: Just as it sounds, segmental vitiligo is selective to certain segments of the body. This form of vitiligo appears on only part of the body. Patients are known to lose the color of the hair, and the condition will progress for about a year before stopping.

Non-Segmental Vitiligio: The more common type, non-segmental vitiligo will appear on both sides of the body, starting at the hands and face. The patches grow bigger over time, and can even cover a person’s body and face completely. Physicians note that there is a rapid loss of color initially, which later slows down before again starting up. This cycle does not ever stop completely, it will continue for life.

What are the Symptoms of Vitiligio?

General symptoms of the condition are only based on the lack of skin pigmentation, leading to patches of white skin. There is no reference to symptoms of pain or physical impairment, but people are known to go through instances of emotional distraught as the condition becomes more visible.

Treatment for Vitiligio:

Treatment varies depending on the severity of each vitiligo case. Though a specified cause and cure are both unknown, a number of things can be done to treat the current state of vitiligo. It is not guaranteed that the condition will not continue in the future, but there are things you can do to treat it now.

Phototherapy (a UVB light) is often used to lessen the appearance of marks. Therapy happens in segments, and the marks will lessen with each session. This is ideal for someone with segmental vitiligo, only effected in a certain area or only effected by less visible colored patches.

Creams and lotions are also commonly used to hide the appearance of vitiligo. People often turn to high end costume makeup for their skin as well as top of the line lotions that mask the appearance.

For more severe cases, or for patients who hope to have longer lasting treatment, surgical screen grafts and transplants can be performed. Grafting would remove the effected skin and replace it with clear skin. This method is suggested for those with only minor vitiligo, those who do not have the condition growing all over their body.

Melanocytes can be transplanted into the body, and when successful, is noted to have a 70 to 85% success rate in restoring complete pigmentation.

Vitiligo can be a taxing condition that takes a toll of patients of all ages and skin types. The doctors at West Medical are happy to provide you with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment suggestions for your specific case. We specialize in minimally invasive surgeries with lasting results.

You do have options to treat vitiligio, and West Medical is dedicated to providing the right one for you. To find out more about vitiligo treatment options in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, please call our offices at (855) 690-0565. We look forward to hearing from you!

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