What is the goal of vitiligo treatment?
The goal of a vitiligo treatment depends on the severity of the condition. A doctor can prescribe a drug to stop the immune system from destroying melanocytes and improve skin tone.
In most cases, the vitiligo treatment goals include:
- Slow or stop the progression of the condition.
- Restore colour to white skin patches.
- Promote regeneration of melanocytes.
It is essential to note that treatment takes time and not everyone responds in the same way. Also, the results of treatment may vary from one part of the body to another, while new patches can appear.
Hence, sometimes doctors recommend more than one treatment for optimum results. So, to select the best treatment one should consult a doctor or a medical professional.
Before learning about vitiligo treatments, one should know that no medication can prevent the progression of vitiligo. However, certain drugs, alone or in combination with light therapy, can assist in restoring colour.
Medications for the immune system
Vitiligo treatment creams containing calcineurin inhibitors, such as pimecrolimus or tacrolimus, may be helpful for those who have mild depigmentation, particularly on the face and neck. But, before choosing the best vitiligo treatment cream, it is advised to consult a doctor beforehand. This is because these drugs could cause lymphoma and skin cancer.
A doctor may recommend a corticosteroid cream to help bring back skin colour. This form of a cream is efficient and simple to use, and it is beneficial when vitiligo is in its initial stages.
One may experience side effects such as skin thinning, wrinkles, or skin streaks. However, a milder form of this medication may be administered to youngsters and people with discoloured skin. Hence, to choose the best vitiligo treatment cream, one must consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
It has been shown that phototherapy utilizing UVB narrow bandwidths can slow or prevent the progression of active vitiligo. Also, when combined with inhibitors of calcineurin or corticosteroids, it may have a greater effect and is usually advised two to three times a week. However, it may take 1-3 months to notice changes and complete results may take half a year or longer.
Light therapy needs expert guidance. One can even use smaller, portable or handheld devices available for home use.
In most cases, it is uncommon to employ depigmentation. However, patients who have mostly lost their natural skin colour and don't want to continue with treatment to bring their skin colour back opt for this therapy.
Depigmentation eliminates the lingering natural pigment to balance out skin tone. A patient applies a lotion to the skin that still has pigment to get rid of the remaining colour. The remaining pigment is progressively removed by the cream, and the leftover pigment can be removed in 1-4 years.
It is essential to consult an experienced dermatologist to know about the advantages and disadvantages of this permanent treatment.
Combination of light therapy and psoralen
In order to bring colour back to the light patches, this treatment uses light therapy also known as photochemotherapy with psoralen. In this case, individuals are exposed to UVA (ultraviolet A) light after taking psoralen or applying it to the affected skin.
If most treatments are ineffective, surgery is an option. There are two types of surgical options available.
- Cell transplant: A dermatologist will cut away some pigmented, healthy skin to extract cells. After that, the vitiligo skin is implanted with these cells, and within six months of this surgery, these cells typically re-pigment. However, in most cases, patients have re-pigmented for up to 12 months. Although it works for all skin types and every type of vitiligo, this procedure is not recommended for everyone.
- Skin graft: In this procedure, a portion of healthy, pigmented skin is removed and transplanted to one or more vitiligo-affected areas by a dermatologist.
It is important to remember that there may be some hazards associated with these treatments and procedures. These should only be carried out under the guidance of a medical professional.
One can receive thorough advice and consultation from qualified medical professionals at UnCover to assist in the treatment of vitiligo. The pigmentation removal procedure at UnCover is reasonably priced. Prices start at Rs. 3,000 for a 30-minute session.
Vitiligo treatment in Ayurveda
One of the most popular ayurvedic treatments for vitiligo is bakuchi or Psoralea Corylifolia. It rejuvenates the skin while reducing the white patches.
A powder made from several ayurvedic herbs, such as khadir (skin), chitrak (root), jatamansi (root), and amalaki (fruit) can produce excellent results.
Neem (Azadirachta Indica) has several antioxidant qualities that work by scavenging the body's free radicals to reduce the effects of vitiligo. Moreover, it can shield melanocytes from free radical damage and slow down the progression of vitiligo.
Another often-used ayurvedic treatment for vitiligo is haritaki or Terminalia Chebula. It functions as an antioxidant and eliminates the free radicals that harm the melanocytes. Individuals with vitiligo may also experience depression and anxiety, which can be effectively reduced by haritaki. It is therefore often prescribed in cases of severe vitiligo.
Giloe is an effective remedy for many minor and major health conditions, including vitiligo. It stops immune cells from destroying the melanocytes, which reduces the severity of vilitigo's symptoms.
Besides these, manjistha or Rubia Cordifolia and khadira or Acacia Catechu are also effective for vitiligo treatment in Ayurveda.
Get expert opinion
If one is asking about the best vitiligo treatment, the answer can’t be provided in a sentence, as it requires a thorough diagnosis and proper medical consultation. It is advised to consult a medical professional to know about the possible treatment options. One can visit UnCover for consultation concerning vitiligo treatments and the pigmentation removal procedure.