There are three types of vitiligo that may develop.
While Vitiligo is difficult to treat, several therapies have been developed to help people with this condition. These therapies include but are not limited to topical drugs, immunosuppressants, phototherapy, lasers, and several surgical processes.
Topical steroid therapy
Corticosteroids (steroid creams) work to restore pigment in the skin. This form of treatment is the safest therapy for vitiligo but not necessarily the most effective. The best results occur when the cream is applied in the early stages of the disease. When using a corticosteroid topical ointment, one will have to apply the cream to the white patches on the skin for at least 3 months before recognizing results. Side effects from the use of such steroids may result in skin atrophy or shrinking, and the appearance of steaks and lines (striations) in the skin.
Our doctors will advise you on where and how to apply the cream to minimize these side effects. Call our office today to make an appointment with one of our board certified specialists to help treat your condition.
Topical ointments containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus are effective for people with small areas of depigmentation, especially on the face and neck. These drugs are immunosuppressants. This treatment may have fewer side effects than corticosteroids and can be used in combination with ultraviolet B (UVB) treatments as we will discuss below.
Narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy. Narrowband UVB, is a form of light that uses a specific wavelength of light. Narrowband UVB does not require psoralen to be applied before treatments.
Narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy is used for treating vitiligo among many other skin disorders. To reduce the appearance of vitiligo, you may receive treatment in our clinic up to three times per week. Light therapy is now considered the gold standard of treatment for vitiligo that covers more than 20% of the body. The best results with this process are achieved on the face, trunk and limbs.
Tattooing (micropigmentation). Tattooing artificially pigments the skin and for vitiligo sufferers, tattooing has been the most effective treatment for sensitive areas around the lips and in people with dark skin.