Vitiligo

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The Dermalight 80

is the world's premier hand-held UVB Narrowband Phototherapy wand.
One of the surprises with this product is its international flavor.

  • What is Vitiligo?

    Vitiligo is a skin condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. This happens when melanocytes, the cells that make pigment in the skin, are destroyed. Vitiligo is commonly observed on exposed skin such as the face, neck and hands but can affect any part of the body. In some cases, it may cause loss of color inside the mouth, on the eyes, and on the hair. The average age of onset of vitiligo is in the mid-twenties, but it can appear at any age. It tends to progress over time, with larger areas of the skin losing pigment.The extent and rate of color loss from vitiligo is unpredictable. Vitiligo is not contagious and it’s non-infectious however, it may have hereditary or genetic markers.

  • Main Types of Vitiligo

    There are two main types of Vitiligo
    1. Segmental
    Segmental Vitiligo also known as unilateral or localised vitiligo occurs more commonly in children. It refers to the white patches that affect only one area on your body.
    2. Non- Segmental
    Non-segmental Vitiligo also known as bilateral or generalised vitiligo is one of the most common types of Vitiligo. In this type of Vitiligo, the patches of the skin where de-pigmentation occurs, usually shows some form of symmetry. In other words, the white patches of skin progress symmetrically on both sides of the body, affecting the same body parts at the same time.

  • What causes Vitiligo?

    Vitiligo is caused when cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning properly. Areas on your body where these cells are affected will begin to turn white because there is no longer any skin pigment present. Individuals with a family history of vitiligo are more likely to inherit the genetic factors that affect melanocyte function. Moreover, it could also be an autoimmune disease, this is due to a compromised immune system where your body begins attacking its own cells. In some cases, it may be caused by specific events, like extreme sunburn, skin injury, excessive stress or certain hazardous chemicals may also trigger pigment loss.

  • What are the symptoms of Vitiligo?

    The main symptoms of Vitiligo are patchy loss of skin color. Usually, the discoloration first shows on sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, feet, arms, face and lips. The lack of melanin in your skin can turn the hair in the affected area white or grey.These white patches can continue to spread and appear in other parts of the body. While discoloration is the only physical symptom of Vitiligo, some people with vitiligo experience emotional distress when coping with changes to their appearance

  • Who is affected by vitiligo?

    Doctors cannot predict who will get vitiligo. The total number of people suffering from vitiligo is estimated at around 65-95 million people worldwide. However, the actual number may be much higher because vitiligo is a much underreported disease.Vitiligo occurs equally in males and females. People of any race or ethnicity can get vitiligo but it is most noticeable in those with darker skin.
    People with other autoimmune disorders like hyperthyroidism may be at increased risk of vitiligo, however most people with vitiligo do not have any other autoimmune conditions. Vitiligo may be caused by genetics so people with a family history of vitiligo are at increased risk. Skin abrasions, sun and chemical exposures, emotional distress, and physical immune responses to viruses can cause new patches to develop.

  • Vitiligo Treatment

    Treatment for vitiligo is based on improving the appearance of the skin by restoring its colour. It includes a variety of light therapies, systemic steroids, de-pigmentation techniques and surgery. Traditional therapies include steroids and Ultraviolet Light (PUVA). Modern therapies include surgery/transplantation, Narrowband-Ultraviolet B Light (UVB), antioxidants and oral corticosteroids. Natural health supplements can also be used to prevent further spreading. The effects of treatment aren’t usually permanent, but it can helps in controlling the spread of the condition.

  • When should you expect results? How long does it take to treat vitiligo?

    The rule of thumb for any kind of treatment is that you need to allow at least 3 to 6 months before you begin to see results. Re-pigmentation of the skin also depends on the appropriate combination of treatments for example light therapy (UVB) and topical cream often improves the skin’s ability to re-pigment. Some people may not see results for 8 months or more as treatment results vary by person and by type of vitiligo. Combining treatments typically work better and faster than single therapy treatments.

  • What is Narrowband UVB & how it treats vitiligo?

    Currently considered as the ‘gold standard’ treatment for vitiligo, UVB light treatment is emerging as one of the most effective way of re-pigmenting the skin. It is considered as being the most appropriate treatment especially when vitiligo covers 20% or more of the body. Phototherapy targets large areas of the skin without the side effects of topical or oral medications. During phototherapy sessions, a machine emitting rays of narrowband UVB light is directed at the area of the body being treated. One session can last only a few minutes and patients can have several sessions per week. You can now treat your vitiligo at home with our handheld UVB phototherapy comb, the Dermalight 80. PUVA therapy, another phototherapy option for vitiligo has been proved to work well with re-pigmenting the skin. However, its limitation includes light sensitivity reactions, nausea as well as long-term skin cancer concerns. Phototherapy is generally well-tolerated in both adults and children. There is no increased risk of skin cancer compared to biologic medications which can cause organ toxicity and are linked with cancer.

  • PUVA-Psoralen plus UVA light

    Formerly known as the gold standard treatment for vitiligo, PUVA has been surpassed by UVB phototherapy as it has the same effectiveness but with significantly fewer side effects. Psoralen is usually taken orally and it can also be used topically. A UVA light box is then used to provide light component. Patients can have up to three sessions per week. The side effects of PUVA include stomach upset, burning, cataracts and liver issues. PUVA is mostly used in adults and less often in children because of the risk of side effects.

  • Topical Therapy

    Topical steroids are generally considered as an impractical treatment method for vitiligo. This is because there is a greater risk of associated adverse side effects due to the significant amount of skin that would need to be treated. Topical corticosteroids prescribed by physicians can be used on a short-term basis or intermittently to re-pigment vitiligo in adults. It is generally not advised for children.

  • Oral Therapy

    Oral steroids are generally used to help stabilize active vitiligo. They help in stopping new spots of vitiligo from developing. These can be taken daily or on a few days of the week. The dosage and frequency of oral steroids are typically tapered to prevent side effects. These medications are known to cause many side effects such as increasing blood pressure, weakening the bones and increasing blood sugar. Monitoring is required when taking this medication and works best when combined with other treatments, such as light therapy.

  • Surgical Therapy

    The goal of vitiligo surgery is to transplant functional melanocytes to the de-pigmented area to cause re-pigmentation. This is only suitable for some vitiligo patients only as it depends on how much the body is covered with vitiligo. Those considered the best candidates and most likely to experience a high rate of re-pigmentation from surgical therapies are those with localized, stable or segmental vitiligo.

  • Natural Health Supplements

    Antioxidants help in stabilizing active vitiligo. In vitiligo, melanocytes are more easily damaged by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify or counteract their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent this. Vitamin C possesses the ability to block the harmful effects of oxidants on melanocytes with its potent antioxidant properties. Oxidative damage can hence be stopped in its tracks before reaching the irreversible range. If you start incorporating vitamin C in your diet, the cells can start can start to stabilize them and start imparting colour to the skin.

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