Vitiligo: What Is it?
Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of skin to lose their natural pigmentation. It affects all race, gender, and age groups, and can be present on any area of the body. Though exact causes are unknown, this condition is believed to be an autoimmune disorder.
Topical Treatments for Vitiligo: A Review of the Options
For those suffering from vitiligo, treating the condition through topical agents is often the first option. While the success rate for these treatments fluctuates, there are a number of topical treatments available to help you manage the condition.
Corticosteroids are the most common topical treatment for vitiligo. These topical agents might help slow down new patch development, as well as restore some degree of color to the areas affected by the condition. Corticosteroids are available in different forms, including creams, ointments, lotions, and solutions.
Vitamin D Analogues
Vitamin D analogues are synthetic compounds. They can be applied directly to the skin to help regulate the production of pigment cells in the affected areas. Vitamin D analogues are often prescribed together with steroids, to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.
Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant that can be taken orally or applied topically. It’s believed to help reduce the activity of pigment-blocking cells, restoring pigmentation in some cases.
This treatment combines the use of psoralen (a natural chemical) with exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation. Used together, these two agents can restore pigment to vitiligo patches.
Health & Safety Considerations
Though topical treatments for vitiligo can help restore pigmentation, these types of treatments should always be used with caution. Speak to your doctor about any potential side effects, and let them know of any other medication or treatments you might be currently using.
There are also other treatments to consider, such as laser therapy and skin grafts. It’s important to find the right combination of treatments that work best for you and your condition.
Keywords: Vitiligo, Topical Treatments, Corticosteroids, Vitamin D Analogues, Tacrolimus, Psoralen Photochemotherapy, Health & Safety Considerations.