Common Treatments for Vitiligo

What Is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a chronic condition where patches of the skin lose their color over time. This loss of color is caused by the death of melanocytes in the skin. The melanocytes are the pigment cells responsible for the color of the skin. They also protect it from the impact of ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Anyone can have vitiligo at any age. The cause is not known, but researchers suspect it is due to an autoimmune disorder or a virus. The condition is not contagious. This rare condition affects around or less than 2 percent [1] of the world’s population.

Vitiligo can start from any part of the body. The affected areas vary on an individual basis. In some cases, this condition affects the eyes, the hair, and even the insides of the mouth. There is no way of predicting how much the discoloration will spread.

While vitiligo can seem to simply be a problem of skin coloration, the American Academy of Dermatology [2] advises against treating it as just that. This is because the condition may pose a health risk. The patches of discolored skin are more sensitive to sunlight than unchanged skin.

Most times the discolored patches remain discolored for life. There is currently no treatment available to reverse the change that has taken place on the skin. There is none sure to halt the process either. Treatment options can help reduce the visibility of the discoloration or even out the skin color. This article discusses some of the current treatments used for vitiligo.