What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition characterized by the loss of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes in certain areas of the skin. This results in the development of white patches or depigmented areas on the skin, which can vary in size and shape. Vitiligo can affect any part of the body, and its exact cause is not fully understood.
What is the cause of vitiligo?
The exact cause of vitiligo is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a multifactorial condition with contributions from both genetic and autoimmune factors.
What is the treatment of vitiligo?
To evaluate and discuss treatment options, it is essential to have an initial appointment with a dermatologist.
The clinic provides various treatment options, including:
- i) Creams like topical steroids and calcineurin inhibitors.
- ii) Oral medications, especially for severe and rapidly spreading vitiligo.
iii) Phototherapy or Excimer laser, which may be considered after a consultation to determine the best approach.
- iv) Surgical treatments such as punch graft or melanocyte transfer can be considered in specific cases, and further details will be discussed during the consultation.
What to expect in vitiligo surgery?
During the surgery, you will receive local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. Different surgical techniques are available, such as punch grafting (removing and transplanting small sections of pigmented skin), split-thickness skin grafting (using thin skin layers from a donor site), or non-cultured epidermal suspension (applying a cell suspension from a small healthy skin sample).
After surgery, the treated areas are dressed and require proper care during the healing process. Follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor repigmentation progress and potential touch-up treatments. Realistic expectations are vital as complete and uniform repigmentation is not guaranteed, and multiple sessions may be needed.