Vitiligo Treatment in Delhi
Vitiligo pronounced as vit-ill-EYE-go, is a skin disease where the skin starts to lose its color and white patches start appearing on different parts of the body. This usually happens when the skin cells that produce pigment or coloration, get destroyed. These cells are known as melanocytes and are responsible for producing melanin (color) in the skin, Vitiligo is known to affect mucous membranes such as tissue inside the mouth, nose, and eye. Thus, sometimes the eyes are also seen as discolored. About 1% of the world’s population is affected by Vitiligo.
What are the common causes of Vitiligo?
The pigment that gives normal color to the skin is known as melanin and is. It is made up of cells known as melanocytes. In Vitiligo patches, the melanocytes are absent.
The exact cause to Vitiligo is not yet known but is said to be an autoimmune disease. Which means that it happens when the immune system of one’s own body rejects some of its own cells. In this particular case of Vitiligo, the immune system attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Individuals with Vitiligo usually suffer from Thyroid and other autoimmune conditions.
The causes could be genetic too as it is likely that one or more genes may be responsible for this disorder. This, however, is not proven scientifically. Other causes of Vitiligo could be sunburn and emotional distress too. But again not scientifically proven.
Even after decades of research, the researchers have not found the exact causation of melanocyte destruction in vitiligo.
Who is affected by Vitiligo?
Young people in their twenties often get affected by this disorder. But, as seen by the statistics, anybody can get affected at any age, belonging to any sex group or any race. It is more noticeable in people with darker skin. Light colored skin hides the effects (white patches) of Vitiligo. People suffering from autoimmune disorders such as Hyperthyroidism can also be affected by Vitiligo. Children may or may not inherit Vitiligo from their parents.
There is no medical evidence of any link between diet and vitiligo.
Is vitiligo hereditary?
Vitiligo does have a genetic basis, however, only about 20% of those with vitiligo are known to have a family history of vitiligo. If you have vitiligo, it does not necessarily mean that your children will develop it too.
Types of Vitiligo?
There are two types of Vitiligo.
- Segmental Vitiligo
- Non-Segmental Vitiligo.
Both segmental and non-segmental vitiligo are practically different types of diseases.
Segmental Vitiligo or Unilateral Vitiligo
Segmental Vitiligo is also known as unilateral vitiligo is non-symmetrical vitiligo. It is characterized by one or more areas which have lost their pigment. It is less common and affects only 10% of the people with vitiligo. It is more common in children. It is often seen on a leg, face, or an arm. Segmental vitiligo is also associated with whitening of the hair.
Unilateral Vitiligo generally advances for a year or so and then stops. Due to its predictable stability, it generally responds well to surgical treatment. This type of vitiligo is associated with thyroid and autoimmune disorders.
Non-Segmental vitiligo is more common and accounts for up to 90% of the people with vitiligo. It could be focal or generalized. Focal is generally the evolving stage of Segmental Vitiligo. Generalized Vitiligo also is known as Vitiligo Vulgaris occurs on both sides of the body. It may begin on the fingertips, hands, around the eyes or mouth, wrists, or on the feet. Individuals with this type of vitiligo experience rapid loss of skin color at the beginning, which then stops after a while, eventually leading to the repeated color loss. This cycle usually continues all through a person’s lifetime.
During the active stage, even trauma to the skin might lead to depigmentation (Koebner’s Phenomenon). Colour loss tends to propagate, covering larger regions, thus increasing visibility. Acrofacial (involving tips of fingers and face) and Mucosal vitiligo (involving lips, genitalia) are also types of Generalised Non-Segmental vitiligo.
How is Vitiligo treated?
A combination of topical agents, phototherapy (PUVA or NB-UVB), immuno-modulators and Melanocyte transplantation surgery are used to treat vitiligo. The excimer laser is also used to treat vitiligo. The vitiligo treatment is done to stabilize the disease and prevent the formation of new pigments in the white areas, known as re-pigmentation. In a stable condition, surgical strategies to re-pigment the white patches are often resorted to.
What is Phototherapy with UVA Light (PUVA)
The patient is made to take a drug that increases their skin’s sensitivity to UV light. The affected skin is then exposed to high doses of UVA light. 2 sessions per week are required for 6-12 months to see evident progress in the condition.
What is NB-UVB Phototherapy
The patient is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) lamps. This can also be done at home with a small lamp and is recommended for daily use. At a clinic, 2-3 sessions per week are required for a longer duration.
If the white spots cover large areas of the body, UVB phototherapy may be used. This is a full-body treatment and is done in a certified clinic or hospital.
What is Melanocyte Transplantation?
Melanocyte transplantation is a surgical method that helps replenish the melanocytes in the affected areas. A thin, small piece of normally pigmented skin is obtained from the patient’s body, usually from the buttock or thigh. Normal functioning melanocytes are then separated from this piece of skin and are converted to a liquid suspension. This suspension is applied to the white patches.
Melanocytes start to proliferate and produce melanin. Within a few weeks to months, natural looking pigment starts to cover the patches, making them indiscernible from the surrounding skin. This procedure is known as ‘non-cultured epidermal cell suspension transfer’ or ‘non-cultured cellular grafting’ or more commonly known as ‘melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation procedure’.
What is Excimer Laser?
The excimer laser is an effective treatment for vitiligo and is most commonly used for dark-skinned patients usually with vitiligo white patches treatment on their face. The Excimer Laser uses a carefully focused beam of light delivered through a sophisticated fiber optic device. The focused beam allows the practitioner to use a high dose of UVB light to treat only the affected areas, minimizing the risk of exposure to the normal pigmented surrounding skin.
So which is the best treatment for me?
Each condition is different and needs different treatment. It is highly recommended to consult an experienced dermatologist who can access your condition and suggest the best treatment option as per your condition.
Dr. Sumit Gupta is among very dermatologists to offer Vitiligo Treatment in Delhi & Melanocyte Transplant in Delhi. Dr. Sumit Gupta has trained at and has performed path-breaking research in the field of vitiligo. His approach towards managing a patient of vitiligo is meticulous, evidence-based and in accordance with international guidelines.
To book an appointment for Vitiligo Treatment with Dr. Sumit Gupta, contact us at +91-9560064696 or firstname.lastname@example.org