Vitiligo is a skin disease that impacts both men and women of all ages and skin types. Its characteristic white patches of skin can be very embarrassing for individuals who suffer from the condition. At Khrom Dermatology & Aesthetics, we offer numerous treatment options to improve the symptoms of vitiligo.
Overview of Vitiligo
Vitiligo occurs when there is an absence of melanocytes in the skin. Melanocytes are the skin cells responsible for producing melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color. It is categorized by visible pale, white patches of skin, commonly occurring on areas that are exposed to the sun.
Vitiligo can affect multiple areas of the body, but most commonly occurs on the face, arms, hands, feet, and trunk. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, although it’s suspected to be an acquired autoimmune condition.
Approximately 1 to 2 million people in the United States are impacted by vitiligo. It can affect men and women of all races; however, it is more noticeable in individual with dark skin.
There are several different subtypes of vitiligo. They include:
- Generalized – The most common form of the condition; it includes patches on the hands, feet, or face, or scattered patches on the body
- Segmental – This is when it occurs on only 1 segment of the body
- Localized – This is when the condition is contained to one small area
- Universal – This is when it occurs on most of the body
- Mixed – This is when patients have multiple forms of the condition at the same time
Treatment for vitiligo typically consists of a combination of therapies in order to achieve optimal results. At Khrom Dermatology, we often use Excimer light treatment along with topical treatments. Most patients who undergo this combination of treatment see an average of 50-75% re-pigmentation that can last up to a year.
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There are a variety of different ointments, creams, and topical medications that can be applied to the patches of vitiligo on the skin. These topical treatments can reduce the appearance of pale, white spots and have no healing time or recovery.
Excimer light treatment
Excimer treatments uses narrow band UVB light to re-pigment the skin, reducing the size and appearance of white patches. The specific wavelength used with Excimer is 308nm, which is highly effective at targeting vitiligo patches.
Benefits of Excimer treatment for vitiligo
- Safe – Uses only highly targeted beams of UVB light so health skin remains unaffected
- Easy – Almost no downtime
- Long-term results – patients often experience months symptom-free
- Simple – Sessions are very quick
Results from Excimer treatment
Most patients will require anywhere from 15-30 light treatments for vitiligo in order to see optimal results. Maintenance treatments are also necessary to ensure long-term reduction of white, pale patches. During your initial consultation, our dermatologists at Khrom Dermatology can discuss how many light sessions will be required.
Individuals can expect to see a noticeable reduction in white spots or patches, while also enjoying a more natural-looking and even skin tone in the areas that are impacted by vitiligo.
Candidates for Excimer treatment
If you have been diagnosed with vitiligo and would like to see a reduction in white spots caused by the condition, you may be a candidate for Excimer treatment.
What to expect after Excimer treatment
Individuals who undergo Excimer treatment for vitiligo can expect to see some redness or increased sensitivity immediately following the procedure. These side effects typically subside quickly. There is no downtime after Excimer treatment, so patients can return to their normal daily activities immediately. It’s important to limit sun exposure, use sunscreen consistently, and moisturize the treated area.
At Khrom Dermatology & Aesthetics, we understand that the effects of vitiligo go beyond the physical appearance. Individuals with the skin condition often report being embarrassed by the white patches which can lead to issues with confidence and self-esteem. Our team is here to help you find physical and emotional relief from vitiligo. If you are in the Midwood area and would like to find out more about our treatment options, please call us at 718-751-0674 to request your appointment.