Vitiligo is a hereditary, skin-lightening condition that many experts consider to be an autoimmune disease. The rate at which the skin loses pigment is unpredictable and varies from person to person.
Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder, similar to hypopigmentation. When the cells in the skin that produce pigment are unable to function properly, vitiligo may occur. Vitiligo may appear as lesions of the skin that have less pigment, oftentimes appearing white. There are multiple patterns in which vitiligo may occur, including generalized, segmental, and focal. Limiting sun exposure and wearing sunscreen from both A and B spectrum of UV may help reduce the appearance of vitiligo.
Symptoms can include:
- Patchy loss of skin color
- Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
- Loss of color in the tissues inside of your mouth and nose
- Loss of or change in color of the retina
Vitiligo can start at any age but often starts appearing before the age of 20. The condition doesn’t appear to affect one part of the body more than others and can appear all over the body or only on specific parts of your body.
While there isn’t a total cure for vitiligo, laser treatment can reduce its appearance.
Which laser typically works best for vitiligo treatment?
Vitiligo is the growth of depigmented skin, resulting in patches of skin that are significantly lighter than your normal skin tone. Treatment using the Excimer laser helps to regain your normal pigmentation faster. The Excimer laser works particularly well in reducing the prominence of vitiligo on dark skin.
The Excimer laser emits concentrated ultraviolet light. In addition to their work in the treatment of vitiligo and psoriasis, they can also be used for refractive eye surgery by ophthalmologists.
More on how the 308 Excimer, used by physicians at the Laser Skin and Surgery Center of New York, works:
“Narrow-band UVB light therapy is considered the most effective approach for the treatment of vitiligo- with the fewest side effects. The EXCIMER 308 achieves results that verifiably match those of an excimer laser, restoring pigment in the affected skin. With selective application of UVB radiation on the lesions, surrounding healthy tissue remains.”
Questions and Answers
Q: How Many Sessions Are Required?
A: It depends on your specific condition, but 8 sessions are standard. Contact your doctor for a consultation to figure out a treatment plan for your skin.
Q: Is Treatment Painful?
A: Treatment is virtually pain-free. Your skin may be slightly warm during and after treatment, but anesthesia is unnecessary. You may experience redness, itchiness, and mild irritation for 3-4 days after treatment.
Q: Where Can I Get More Information About Vitiligo?
A: Check out American Health and Beauty’s website for further information.
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