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.