Home treatment for vitiligo is varied. Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes white patches on the skin and skin colors fade. This skin disease can happen at any age, but this disease usually appears when the sufferers are in their 20s. Besides attacking any skin areas on the body, vitiligo can also attack the mouth, hair, and eyes.
Causes and Symptoms of Vitiligo
Vitiligo causes and symptoms are varied. Here is further information about it.
- Causes of Vitiligo
Colors of the hair, skin, and eyes are produced by body pigment cells. In vitiligo sufferers, the pigment cells stop producing body colors or body pigments. As a result, gray hair as well as white patches on the skin appear. It is not known yet why the pigment cells stop producing body pigments. But such a condition is expected to be related to some factors. Such as genetic disorders, auto-immune disease, stress, sunburn, and chemical exposure.
- Symptoms of Vitiligo
One of the symptoms of vitiligo is the appearance of hypopigmented spots on the body. In the beginning, the spots are lighter than the skin. Then, it will gradually become white. The appearance of the spots begins on body parts that are often exposed to the sun, such as the face, lips, hands, and legs. Another symptom of vitiligo is The loss of color pigment in the hair, beard, eyelashes and eyebrows, making it look gray.
Some sufferers also feel pain and itchy on the skin affected by the disease. Rashes can also appear, especially after being exposed to the sun.
Treatment for Vitiligo
The best treatment for vitiligo is purposed to restore the skin color to normal. Some medication methods can cause side effects. This is why doctors will usually suggest patients to use tanning lotion. Doctors will also suggest to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more to prevent more severe damaged skin due to sun exposure. If those methods are not effective, dermatologists will use other methods, like mentioned below.
UV Light Therapy
The first new treatment for vitiligo is UV light treatment for vitiligo or also known as phototherapy for vitiligo. This therapy is chosen when vitiligo has been spread widely and using ointment is not effective anymore. Phototherapy is performed by exposing ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to areas of the skin affected by vitiligo. This is why this therapy is also known as UVB treatment for vitiligo. Before phototherapy, patients will be given psoralen used on the skin. This is purposed to make the skin more sensitive to UVA or UVB rays.
Vitiligo patients need this therapy 3 times a week for 6 months up to 12 months. Phototherapy can also be combined with laser therapy, prednisolone drugs, calcipotriol Vitamin D, and medicines that can affect the immune system, such as azathioprine.
Natural treatment is a great choice if you search for home remedies for vitiligo that are more affordable than other treatment. Natural treatment is proven to be effective enough in restoring the body color to normal. Several natural things that you can try to treat vitiligo are consuming ginkgo biloba, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12. However, you still need to consult your dermatologist first before you try any home treatment for vitiligo.
A skin graft is performed when the vitiligo affects only a small area of the body. It is also the last option taken by patients to treat vitiligo. In this procedure, the doctor will take healthy skin to cover the skin affected by vitiligo. Skin grafting is performed on vitiligo that has not widened in the past a year and for vitiligo that is not triggered by sunburn.
The next treatment is blister grafting. Just like skin grafting, blister grafting is performed by taking healthy skin to cover the skin affected by vitiligo. The difference is, the skin taken will be blistered first, then the top of the blister will be removed before being grafted. There are some side effects of this vitiligo treatment. For example, permanent scars, rough skin, and weird skin colors.
This therapy is performed by completely removing the patient’s original skin color. This method is usually used for those who have done various vitiligo treatments but have not shown positive results. Those who undergo this depigmentation therapy will have a special depigmentation agent that is applied to all areas of the skin.So, the patients will not look like they are suffering from vitiligo.
This therapy is performed every day for around a year until the skin color matches the discolored area due to vitiligo. The side effect of this depigmentation therapy is the skin becomes very sensitive to the sunlight.
Even though there are not any medicines yet that can heal vitiligo, some medicines below can help to restore the patients’ original skin colors:
- Corticosteroids Ointment
Corticosteroids ointment can help to prevent white spots from spreading and restore the patients’ skin colors, especially in the initial step of vitiligo. The corticosteroids ointment that can be prescribed is hydrocortisone, fluticasone, and betamethasone. However, corticosteroids should not be used by pregnant women and patients with vitiligo on their faces. Corticosteroids are not treatment for vitiligo on face.
Doctors will prescribe an ointment that contains tacrolimus for patients with vitiligo in a small area, such as the face or neck. Such an ointment can also be combined with ultraviolet B or UVB rays.
Doctors will prescribe a lotion that contains hydroquinone for patients with vitiligo that spreads almost all over the body. The lotion will be applied to normal skin so that the color is similar to the vitiligo patches.
Those are several treatments that are proven to be effective enough to treat vitiligo and restore the patients’ skin colors. Though this skin disease is generally not dangerous, you should not underestimate it. If this skin disease does not immediately get treatment, it will possibly cause other dangerous effects, such as skin cancer. You should at least perform home treatment for vitiligo.