Conventional Treatments for Vitiligo

Conventional Treatments for Vitiligo

In today’s medical world, there are few viable treatment options for vitiligo. Little is known about the disease or how to treat it. However, there are several treatment options (both natural and medicine-based), that help some people with the disease.

Makeup: One trick to treating the disease is to simply skip treating the cause and simply covering up the symptoms with makeup. This trick can help prevent the awkward social feelings that often go along with the disease, according to Web MD. Wearing a high SPF sunscreen is also recommended to protect the delicate skin from burning.

Steroid cream: Another tactic is to apply a topical steroid cream to encourage depigmentation on the remaining colored areas of the skin. This helps blend the two types of skin together. However, according to Web MD, these potent topical steroids may cause skin atrophy. Topical pimecrolimus is also used, and has fewer side effects. Another option is systemic steroids, but these steroids have a higher side effect risk. Adults with over 50 percent depigmentation can have p-(benzyloxy)phenol depigmentation therapy. This will remove more of the pigmentation from the area. However, the patient will never be able to safely tan again.

Phototherapy: Some doctors prescribe phototherapy to patients who do not respond to conservative treatments, for localized vitiligo that affects their quality of life, or for widespread vitiligo. In this case, Narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) light is more effective than oral psoralen with ultraviolet A (PUVA), according to Web MD. Phototherapy shows the most success in patients with dark skin.

Surgery: Surgery is an option for adults where there are no new lesions or Kobner’s phenomenon (skin lesions on the lines of trauma) in the previous 12 months. Both split-skin grafting and micrografting are used, with split-skin grafting giving the best results.

Supplements: Some studies have shown that taking certain supplements can slow, stop, and even repair the de-pigmentation of the skin. You can read more about these studies in the next section.