Vitiligo Symptoms, Therapies and Treatments

Vitiligo Symptoms, Therapies and Treatments


Vitiligo is a condition of the skin of which we do not know precisely the cause and which results in a loss of the pigmentation of the skin (from where a white spot on the skin). It reaches 1% of the population. Vitiligo acquired (or albinism) usually appears after the age of 10.

Most of the time, this concerns the uncovered parts of the body: hands, feet, face, and also the genitals and armpits.

The evolution of this disease is done by step:

• The first appearance with one or more white spots
• Thrusts with an extension of the areas of the body concerned
• It seems to be related to essential factors of stress, or it can be induced by other diseases: thyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency.

This is a sign that the production of melanin – a group of pigments produced by melanocytes (pigment cells) that give color to the skin, eyes, and hair – has been disturbed.


As per experience of Dr. Navin Taneja, the symptoms of acquired Vitiligo usually occur between the ages of 10 and 20 years. This type of Vitiligo is more common than congenital Vitiligo. A characteristic feature of this disease is the non-localization of bright spots with edges darker than the surrounding skin, of various size and shape on one side of the body (Vitiligo acquired in segmental form), in symmetrical arrangement in various areas of the body (Vitiligo acquired ordinary) or in the whole body area (Vitiligo).


• Head (hair within the discoloration of the skin is also devoid of dye – a discolored strand of hair appears)
• Face
• Dorsal surface of the hands (in a symmetrical arrangement in the area of the joints)
• The skin of the genitals
• Feet
• Elbows
• Knees


PUVA Therapy

It is a photochemotherapy that combines UVB Light Treatment with a photosensitizer. This combination allows the increase in the number of melanocytes in the skin, stimulation of the formation of melanosomes and their transfer to the keratinocytes. An immunosuppressive effect is also possible.

Narrow-Band UVB Phototherapy

UVB Light Treatment would stimulate melanotropic hormone production, melanocyte proliferation, and melanogenesis.
The use of narrow-spectrum ultraviolet radiation (peak emission at 311 nm) helps to limit the occurrence of erythema or burns. The National Skin Centre gives the treatment of choice for moderate to severe Vitiligo. The number of sessions varies from 20 to 50; it is continued as repigmentation is observed. No systemic adverse effects have been reported, the appearance of pigmented skin is more aesthetic than with Puvatherapy.

The Excimer Laser

Unlike phototherapy, laser treatment allows targeted treatment only on the depigmented area. The excimer laser is a 308 nm xenon/chlorine laser that induces stimulation of residual melanocytes and apoptosis (cell death) of lymphocytes.

The treatment of Vitiligo response rates can reach up to 95%, with a better result in the face and neck. Efficacy is estimated at 50-60% repigmentation. The UVB treatment seems more effective than phototherapy; the side effects are rare and benign.

Best treatment for vitiligo and how to care

Vitiligo is a long lasting skin problem that produces patches of white depigmentation that develop and enlarge in certain areas of the body. The patches appear when melanocytes within the skin die. Melanocytes are the cells that is responsible for producing the skin pigment – melanin – which gives skin its color and protects it from the sun’s Ultraviolet rays.


It greatly varies from one individual to another that the total area of the skin could be affected by vitiligo skin disorder. This vitiligo disorder could also affect the eyes,interiors of mouth and hair.  It is observed that in most of the cases, the affected areas remains discolored in the rest of life.

The characteristics of this skin disorder are the sudden loss of the The characteristics of Vitiligo skin disorder are sudden loss of the skin color which is inherited since birth. Anyway, without being affected it is a long recognition as the cause of this disease is still unknown. The loss in skin colour yields white patches of various sizes, which can be localised anywhere across the body. Be it a men, women, child or adult, this disease might affect everyone. Approximately 1 in 200 of the world population get affected from vitiligo. The affected individual shows often-severe disfigurement, particularly when the face and the hands are involved.

Fews raw facts about the vitiligo disorder.

  • Vitiligo can affect people of any age, race or gender
  • Vitiligo cannot be cured
  • Vitiligo affects melanocytes that produce the pigment melanin
  • Some scientists think that vitiligo might be caused by a virus
  • Vitiligo is not contagious.
  • Exposure to UVA or UVB light help the victim with the condition
  • If more than 50% of the skin is affected, depigmentation might be an option

Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitiligo

During physical exam the doctor usually make the diagnosis of vitiligo but there is no known solution to prevent or cure this vitiligo. However, several processes like cosmetics, re-pigmentation using UV light therapy, corticosteroid creams, depigmentation of skin areas unaffected and skin grafting can also be used to improvise the appearance of skin severely affected by vitiligo.

Caring the vitiligo skin disorder:

Always protect your skin, particularly if you have fair skin, use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The sunscreen creams or lotions might help to protect your skin from sunburn and long-term damage. Sunscreen creams/lotions also minimizes tanning, which might make the contrast between normal and depigmented skin less noticeable.

Conceal the imperfections. Cosmetics cover the white patches on your skin and may improve your appearance. This also help you feel better about yourself. But these cosmetic products are effective particularly if you have vitiligo that’s limited to the exposed areas of your body. You might need to experiment with several brands of concealing cosmetics, such as Dermablend or Chromelin, before finding a product that works best for you.