Treatment Options for Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a relatively rare skin disease affecting about 2% of the global population. The white patches of skin it causes may not be medically dangerous, but they can affect the way you feel about yourself.

At his private practice, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Allen A. Flood helps our patients who are struggling with vitiligo. Beginning with diagnosis, Dr. Flood explains the condition, causes, and treatment options so you can feel confident in your appearance again. 

Read on to learn more about this skin disease and the treatment options available for vitiligo. 

Vitiligo 101

Vitiligo is a noncontagious skin disease that affects the production of melanin in your skin. This skin disease causes a loss of skin pigmentation, resulting in white or light patches on your face or body. Fortunately, it’s not life-threatening. 

There are two ways vitiligo presents: nonsegmental vitiligo (NSV) and segmental vitiligo. 

NSV is more common and occurs when different areas of the body have patches of skin with lost pigmentation. Most people notice some symmetry in the location of where these patches appear (e.g., both upper thighs). 

With segmental vitiligo, the pigmentation affects a specific limb or body part. 

The medical community doesn’t understand the exact cause of vitiligo, but researchers studying the condition believe it is an autoimmune disorder triggered by certain factors, such as external or environmental stressors and internal or emotional stress. 

They’ve identified specific gene variations that make you more likely to develop vitiligo, but having the genes doesn’t mean you will develop the condition.  

Vitiligo is an equal opportunity disease, meaning no one group of people is more or less likely to develop it. But for people of color, the condition is more noticeable. And while it can develop at any age, most people first notice signs of vitiligo in their 20s and develop it before they turn 40. 

Treatment options for vitiligo

The bad news is that no cure exists for vitiligo, and there’s no way to reverse the loss of pigmentation. The good news is that treatment options exist that may help slow the loss of pigmentation or progression of the light-colored patches.

 In addition, advances in medical technology make it possible to camouflage the white patches to normalize your appearance.

After Dr. Flood diagnoses your condition, he discusses your skin condition and aesthetic goals to create a treatment plan for your unique needs. These treatment options aim to improve your skin color and include:

Although vitiligo isn’t a life-threatening disease, the condition can still negatively affect your life, eroding confidence and self-esteem. 

Learn more about how Dr. Flood can help you reclaim your confidence by contacting our Capitol Hill office in Washington, DC. Telehealth appointments are available for returning patients.

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