The term vitiligo refers to the loss of pigment of the skin.This is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin due to lack of melanin. The size and extent of these permanent patches vary from person to person. Vitiligo can appear anywhere on the skin but is most commonly seen on the face, neck, hands and areas where the skin creases such as the armpits and groin.
There are many hypotheses explaining why some people get vitiligo which is thought to be mediated by an autoimmune process-meaning the pigment producing cells ‘melanocytes’ are under attack from the body’s own immune system. There are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in the skin due to the immune system destroying them.
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The condition usually gets worse gradually, starting as a pale patch of skin which turns white or pink depending where on the body it forms. Although no serious discomfort to the skin, the areas may become itchy and they are very vulnerable to sunburn so it is important the skin is protected with sunscreen if exposed to the light.
There are two main types of Vitiligo:
In this form of the condition, symptoms appear on both sides of the body as symmetrical patches. This is the most common type of the condition and these patches are commonly seen on the back of the hands, the arms, knees, elbows, feet and around the eyes.
In this form of the condition, the white patches only affect one area of the body.
The impact of vitiligo on the patient’s confidence cannot be underestimated. Treatment depends on the extent of vitiligo, patient’s age and availability of treatment. The white patches are usually permanent, however there are treatment options available to reduce their appearance. Treatment options are:
- Topical steroids
- Immunomodulator creams
- Excimer lamp treatment
- Melanocyte transfer-ReNovaCell
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At Everything Skin Clinic™, we have a team of highly trained Consultant dermatologists, who have completed specialist training in Dermatology and are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. All our consultants hold substantive contracts with the best Dermatology centres in leading NHS hospitals. Therefore, you can be certain of the highest quality private care.
We offer a range of treatments and can offer one, or a combination of treatments to achieve the best results. Unlike many other clinics, we can offer diagnosis and treatment all under one roof by expert consultant dermatologist, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.
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