Can vitiligo be stopped/controlled from spreading?
Are you among the nearly 2% of the worldwide population suffering from vitiligo? If yes, you may have embraced your multi-colored skin for its own unique beauty. But if you prefer that the differences in skin tone were less visible; several remedies can help decrease the visibility of the condition.
What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that results in the loss of the melanin pigment, the substance that determines the color of the skin, hair, and eyes. When the cells that produce melanin die or stops functioning in a patch of skin, the area becomes white. Vitiligo appears most often on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, arms, elbows, knees, and feet. It can also develop around the orifices including the eyes, nose, mouth and anus. Some people lose color in the retina of the eye or the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Vitiligo doesn’t cause any pain, but it can spread rapidly and significantly change your appearance over time. One may even experience adverse symptoms such as anxiety, self-consciousness or depression. If your vitiligo is causing undue mental or emotional or distress, you should seek treatment immediately.
Conventional vitiligo treatment
Drugs that control inflammation: Applying a corticosteroid cream to affected skin might return its color. This is effective when vitiligo is in the early stage. Creams can be easy to use, but you might not see changes in your skin's color for several months. Possible side effects include skin thinning or the appearance of streaks or lines on your skin.
Medications that affect the immune system: Calcineurin inhibitor ointments, such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus can be effective for people with small areas of depigmentation, especially on the face and neck. However, there is a possible link between these drugs and lymphoma and skin cancer.
2. Light therapy
Light therapy with narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) has been seen to slow the progression of active vitiligo. It might be more effective when used with calcineurin or corticosteroid inhibitors. You'll need to take therapy two to three times a week. It can take one to three months before you notice any change, and it can take more than six months to get the complete effect.
3. Skin grafting
In this procedure, your doctor transfers very small sections of your healthy, pigmented skin to areas that have lost pigment. This procedure is used if you have small patches of vitiligo.
Possible risks include scarring, infection, a cobblestone appearance, spotty color and failure of the area to recolor.
Medications and light-based therapies can restore skin color or even out skin tone, though results vary and are unpredictable. And some treatments have serious side effects. Even if treatment is successful for a while, it does not help to control vitiligo and results may not last or new patches may appear.
To know more, read:
All that you wanted to know about vitiligo
Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo
Homeopathy helps to heal the immune system especially in autoimmune disorders like Vitiligo. It targets the root cause of the ailment and stimulates the body’s melanin cells to produce the melanin pigment. It also slows down the development of new patches across the body.
Homeopathic medicines not only help to control vitiligo but also help in repigmentation (return of the individual’s normal skin color) by enhancing the natural formation of melanocytes, without any side-effects. Most importantly, homeopathy reduces the possibility of white patches reappearing.
Also Read: Vitiligo when skin loses its pigmentation
Homeopathic medicines for vitiligo give long-lasting results unlike short-term results seen in conventional medicines. Homeopathy treatments do not follow the ‘one-size-fits-all' approach where one treatment is given to all patients for a skin condition. Homeopathic medicines are chosen after a complete individualized examination and case analysis; this includes the medical history of the patient and family as well as the physical and mental make-up.
According to a case study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a 7-year old female child presented with vitiligo around her eyes and lips. Based on her totality of symptoms, she was treated with homeopathic medicines Calc. carb-0/1 to 0/8. The homeopathic treatment was able to fully heal the vitiligo spots within 4 months.
If you are suffering from white patches, they may keep spreading and can be difficult to control vitiligo with lost time. Book an appointment with a homeopathic dermatologist to control vitiligo before it controls the appearance of your skin.