Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition. It causes your skin to lose color, creating patches of lighter or white skin that affect your overall appearance. Though not life-threatening, vitiligo can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. The dermatologists at LUX Dermatology specialize in diagnosing and treating vitiligo. LUX Dermatology has offices in Sparks and Las Vegas, Nevada, and Stockton, Manteca, Santa Barbara, Porterville, Hanford, and Visalia, California. To schedule an appointment, call the office nearest you today or book an appointment online.
Vitiligo causes the skin to lose its pigmentation, creating patches of smooth white areas of skin. The condition is caused when your melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) stop producing melanin (skin pigment).
Researchers are still trying to figure out what causes the melanocytes to stop producing melanin. Their best theory is that the immune system destroys the pigment-producing cells. Further research is needed to test that theory.
In addition to your skin, vitiligo can also affect hair pigmentation, causing your hair to turn white.
People with vitiligo develop light-colored or white patches of skin on various parts of their bodies. Most people experience pigment loss on their face, but vitiligo can affect any part of the body, including the scalp, hands, feet, torso, and the inside of the mouth.
Vitiligo rarely causes physical symptoms. However, some people report that their skin patches cause pain or itching.
Though not harmful to your physical health, vitiligo can affect your mental health. Many people with the skin condition struggle with low self-esteem and depression.
When you visit LUX Dermatology for skin pigmentation loss, the dermatologists do an in-depth clinical exam to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Though the dermatologists can diagnose vitiligo after a visual exam, they will likely run diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions that could explain your skin’s depigmentation. These other conditions include tinea versicolor (a fungal infection) and chemical leukoderma (chemical damage to the skin cells).
The LUX Dermatology team develops individualized treatment plans for vitiligo based on your age, general health, and personal preferences. Treatment choices include:
For small areas of depigmentation, you might be able to create uniform skin color with makeup, self-tanners, or skin dyes.
The team can prescribe a highly potent topical corticosteroid to restore your skin color in small areas.
For light therapy, LUX Dermatology uses the XTRAC® laser, which delivers a narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) light to the areas of depigmentation to increase melanocyte activity.
For widespread vitiligo, the team may recommend PUVA light therapy, which combines UVA light with the medication Psoralen to restore skin color.
If medications or light therapy fail to restore skin color, the team could suggest autologous skin grafts. During the procedure, they cover your depigmented skin with skin from other parts of your body.
The team will almost certainly recommend counseling to support your mental well-being.
Many effective treatments are available for vitiligo. To get the help you need, call LUX Dermatology today or book an appointment online.