Vitiligo is a skin condition where pale or white-colored uneven patches are formed on the skin. These patches are usually formed when the melanocytes in the skin are malfunctioned. Melanocytes are responsible for pigment formation of the skin When melanocytes are completely destroyed melanin is no longer formed resulting in the formation of white spots. These white spots can be formed in any location and sizes and this condition is also called leukoderma. Vitiligo is not life-threatening but it often causes social stigma and affects the people physically as well as mentally. There were no medical treatments for vitiligo and people had options like using makeup or foundation to cover up the patches. Thankfully, in cosmetology, there are certain procedures that could help to clear these patches to a great extent.
The skin loses its pigment completely in this condition due to the destruction of melanocytes and in most of the cases the condition spreads gradually, in some cases the condition spreads very faster within no time. The effect on each person varies. There are treatments like Skin Grafting, Melanocyte transplantation, Lasers or UVB procedures to treat vitiligo, in some cases, the condition can be treated entirely and in extreme cases, these treatments are used to clear the white spots only to some extent.
Skin Grafting is a process of skin transplantation, skin from other parts of the body like inner thighs or buttocks and it is transplanted on to the site affected with vitiligo. This is a surgical process and needs to be done very carefully. This procedure can clear spots on the skin to some extent. Melanocyte transplantation also is a surgical process where affected skin is removed and is replaced with the healthy outer skin removed from a donor site on the body. Post the treatment the transplanted cells take some time to start releasing the melanin bringing the skin to a normal condition.
There are other procedures such as using light technologies like Laser and UVB, which uses light energy to stimulate the production of melanin. These treatments do not have major side effects and the recovery downtime is very less.
The treatment is usually aimed at curing the condition. The further spread of it or permanent prevention is something that cannot be guaranteed. In most of the cases, Vitiligo may not reattack the system post-treatment. In rare conditions, it is likely to happen.
There are no potential side effects to any of these procedures and the treatment not just comprises physical procedures but also few counseling sessions are involved to address the psychological effect on the patient.
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