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What is the treatment for vitiligo?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 157 Questions
(This question is related with Dermatologist)

hello sir,

This is XXXXXXX from CG, India. My age is 27, sex-male, unmarried Weight-68 kg, Height 5'9 Inch, Vegetarian. I want to know about white skin disease. I have white patches on my right hand between elbow & wrist, little bit above on elbow since when my age was 6 yrs. It is NOT spreading, it is NOT very dark white, and the hair which grows on this spot is also white in color. I am very afraid of VITILIGO (After Reading & watching blog from Internet). Is this white skin is any kind of Vitiligo or other skin disease? Will it Spreading or not. I also heard from persons that after taking medicine for Vitiligo, its spreads rapidly. Please suggest me. I will be thankful for your support, please help me.(note - it is not spreading).
Thank you
Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Pigmentation Problems
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

According to your description it appears like an Vitiligo but it has to clinically examined to confirm it.

Focal pattern vitiligo and segmental vitiligo remain localized to one part of the body and do not spread. There is no way to predict if generalized vitiligo will spread. For some people, the depigmented patches do not spread. The disorder is usually progressive, however, and over time the white patches will spread to other areas of the body. For some people, vitiligo spreads slowly, over many years. For other people, spreading occurs rapidly. There might be additional depigmentation following periods of physical or emotional stress.

The main goal of treating vitiligo is to improve appearance. Therapy for vitiligo takes a long time-it usually must be continued for 6 to 18 months. The choice of therapy depends on the number of white patches, their location, sizes, and how widespread they are and what you prefer in terms of treatment. Each patient responds differently to therapy, and a particular treatment may not work for everyone. Current treatment options for vitiligo include medication, surgery, and adjunctive therapies (used along with surgical or medical treatments).

Medications includes : Topical Corticosteriods , Psoralen photochemotherapy , Depigmentation by using monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone .

Surgical options are : Skin grafting , Micropigmentation(tatooting) , Autologous Melanocyte transplant(still in research stage) .

As a natural course of the disease , Vitiligo may spread but not because of the treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.


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Follow-up: What is the treatment for vitiligo? 5 hours later
Thank you Dr XXXXXXX N for your Answer. Please suggest me how to confirm my disease. I am living in Raipur CG, if it is possible to check by clinically test than I will go for it. Which test is essential for Vitiligo? Will it automatically filled with natural skin color? If Vitiligo test will be positive than What Should I do? After how many ages/years will it spreads? I have tensed about this...

Is there any vaccines for Vitiligo? Is Focal pattern vitiligo and segmental vitiligo alwasys spreads? please repley .... waiting for your response..

Thank You..
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 1 hour later
Hi Again ,

Thanks for your follow up.

Vitiligo is diagnosed by the Physical examination of the lesions and the history of the course of the disease so far.
Test are done if required, like Skin Biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
You can go to a near by government medical college hospital for the examination because there will be many experienced Professor in Dermatology or you can see any Dermatologist in your place.

Only the Physical examination is essential for Vitiligo.

Vitiligo is chronic, progressive disease. The rate of progression varies and it cannot be predicted . Focal and Segmental Vitiligo do spreads but the rate and intensity is less.

Till now no vaccine has invented so far.

Don't get tensed up, take it positively and follow the doctor advice .

Hope this helps you.

Wish you good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the treatment for vitiligo? 3 hours later
thankyou very much sir, now i am satisfied with your second answer. i have one more query still pending to ask you that, If I go for skin surgery/transplantation of pigmented skin, it will be better for me or not? means If I physically remove the white parts of skin by surgery from my hand, it will be white again or not?

Heartily Thanks to you. ...
Answered by Dr. Sunil.N 1 hour later
Hi ,

Thanks for your followup query.

The candidates for the Surgical treatment are selected on the basis of clinical progression of the Disease and if the medical treatment fails, as these are costly procedures and associated with many complications. But It offers complete cure if the Skin graft is accepted(without any complications).
Usually Grafting done in step wise manner.

As I have not seen the lesions I cannot comment on the scope of surgical options for you.

I hope you will to respond to medical treatment itself and I wish you a speedy recovery.


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