What alternative therapies are available for vitiligo?
Sunscreens - People who have vitiligo, particularly those with fair skin, should use a sunscreen that provides protection from both the UVA and UVB forms of ultraviolet light. Sunscreen helps protect the skin from sunburn and long-term damage.
Sunscreen also minimizes tanning, which makes the contrast between normal and depigmented skin less noticeable.
Cosmetics - Cosmetics are helpful to disguise the vitiligo. Dyes, stains and make-ups can be applied and with specialist help the results can be very satisfactory. Some patients with vitiligo cover depigmented patches with stains, makeup, or self-tanning lotions. These cosmetic products can be particularly effective for people whose vitiligo is limited to exposed areas of the body. Dermablend, Lydia O'Leary, Clinique, Fashion Flair, Vitadye, and Chromelin offer makeup or dyes that patients may find helpful for covering up depigmented patches.
Counseling and support groups - Many people with vitiligo find it helpful to get counseling from a mental health professional. People often find they can talk to their counselor about issues that are difficult to discuss with anyone else. A mental health counselor can also offer patients support and help in coping with vitiligo. In addition, it may be helpful to attend a vitiligo support group.
More information on vitiligo
What is vitiligo? - Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which pigment cells (melanocytes) are destroyed, resulting in irregularly shaped white patches on the skin. Vitiligo consists of white patches of skin.
What causes vitiligo? - In vitiligo, specific autoantibodies against a patient's melanocytes are found in the blood. Vitiligo may also be due to a nerve disorder.
What are the symptoms of vitiligo? - People who develop vitiligo usually first notice white patches on their skin. Vitiligo causes light or white patches on skin that are symmetrical.
How is the diagnosis of vitiligo made? - Important vitiligo diagnosis factors in a patient's medical history include: vitiligo in the family; a rash, sunburn, or other skin trauma, tress or physical illness.
What are the medical treatments for vitiligo? - The goal of treating vitiligo is to restore the function of the skin and to improve the patient's appearance. Vitiligo should be treated only if it causes emotional or social distress.
What are the surgical therapies for vitiligo? - Surgical therapies for vitiligo include autologous skin grafts, skin grafts using blisters, micropigmentation (tattooing), and autologous melanocyte transplants.
What alternative therapies are available for vitiligo? - Alternative therapies for vitiligo include sunscreens, cosmetics, counseling from support groups.