Vitiligo, commonly known as phulwehri or safed daag , is characterized by loss of colour from the skin, hair or mucosa thereby leading to formation of white patches. Viitligo can affect any area of the body and its extent and future course tends to be unpredictable. However, this doesn’t mean that it is untreatable. With advancements in science, vitiligo, which was once considered untreatable is now pretty much treatable.
A range of medical and surgical procedures now exist which can stablise the spread of vitiligo and bring back colour
At Skinhealers, we adopt a holistic approach to treat viitligo wherein we not only stop the spread of vitiligo but also bring back colour by medications or surgery
Q. What are the different types of vitiligo and how do they determine the prognosis of the disease?
- Generalised Vitiligo: It affects multiple parts of the body often the patches that are discoloured spreads on corresponding parts of the body as well systematically.
- Segmental vitiligo:This type of vitiligo spreads in only one side of the body or one part of the body such as hands, legs, or face etc. Mostly it tends to happen in an early age then it progresses for one or two year and then stops to spread.
- Localised Vitiligo: This type only occurs in one area of the body or few areas at an extent such as only elbow, or neck or thigh etc.
- Acrofacial type: this type involves only hands, feet and oral mucosa.
Of all these types, acrofacial variety and segmental variety responds poorly to medications but are treatable by surgery. Usually the acrofacial variety doesn’t generalize to tother sites of the body, hwoever, exceptions are always there.
Q. Why choose Skinhealers for vitiligo treatment?
At Skinhealers, we provide individualized treatment to every patient depending upon the following factors:
- The extent of depigmentation
- The degree of activity of the disease
- Sites involved
- Treatment history
- Involvement of hair and mucosa
- Patient’s preference
If the disease is unstable, our first aim is to stop the spread of the disease along with which treatments are started to restore skin color. Treatment options include:
- Oral medications
- Nutritional supplements
- Topical medications- the ones you apply on skin
- Light based therapies
- Vitiligo Surgery
The medicines usually stop the spread of the disease within 3 months following which the colour also starts to improve. Though, all the medicines advised aim at restoring the skin colour, the time to repigmentation is unpredictable and varies form patient to patient.
If however, the patient fails to respond to medications, ne can always consider surgery.
Q. What is vitiligo surgery?
At Skinhelaers, we provide the most popular surgical technique for treating vitiligo- Non-Cultured Epidermal Cell Suspension (NCES). What’s even better, we further enhance this technique with Platelet Rich Plasma which helps in bringing about even better results
Other surgical options available with us are:
- Mini Punch grafting
- Blister grafting
- Skin grafting
In NCES, pigment containing normal skin is taken from the upper thigh or buttock of the patient and made into a suspension. The recipient area is then prepared by dermabrasion to accept the donor suspension which is then applied to the recipient area and bandaged.
Q. What are the pre-requisites for surgery?
The main prerequisite for this surgery is the stability of the disease. This means the disease should be stable for at least 6 months and preferably 1 year before the procedure. This is critical for the success of the procedure
Q. What to expect after surgery?
After the surgery, the bandage is applied and the patient is advised to follow up at 7 days for removal of the dressing
The patient has also advised some medication in the immediate post-surgery period to prevent infection and pain. The results start to be visible around 4-8 weeks after the procedure and complete results are achieved within 6-9 months. During this period some medication is given to the patient to eat as well as apply to the grated area for best results
Q. What camouflage techniques can be used for resistant cases?
In treatment-resistant cases, or in patients with small areas of involvement or if the patient is not interested in treatment, certain camouflage techniques can be used to cover the depigmented area.
There are two types of camouflage techniques
- Semi-permanent makes up: in this technique semi-permanent ink closely matching the patient’s skin colour is tattooed onto the depigmented area. This ink issemi-permanentt and requirestouch-upss after 12 months or so. This technique is also a good option for patients with vitiligo on lips where a light pink colour or a shade of red can be use to cover the white area
- Camouflage creams matching the skin color can be used by the patient at the time of social gatherings to cover the depigmented area. These days very good sweat and oil resistant camouflage creams are available with long lasting coverage and we can guide you through to them as well.
Other than this, we are always available for counseling and any sort of support the patient or their families require. We aim at reducing the stigma around this disease and clear misconceptions regarding the same.
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