Pigment loss leading to patches of white skin or hair is the primary symptom of vitiligo, an autoimmune condition affecting pigment-producing cells. Dermatology specialists Spencer Hamner, PA-C, Christine D. Brown, MD, and their team at Integrated Dermatology of Montrose in Montrose, Colorado, provide treatments to minimize the cosmetic impact of vitiligo. Call Integrated Dermatology or book a visit online to review your treatment options today.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder that affects the pigmentation of your skin, hair, and mucus membranes. With any autoimmune disorder, your immune system attacks certain cell types or tissues in your body. A healthy immune system does not do this.
With vitiligo specifically, your immune system attacks and destroys melanocytes. These are cells that produce melanin, the pigment that colors your skin. Areas affected by vitiligo turn white because they lose the melanin that was maintaining their tone.
The Integrated Dermatology of Montrose team can help you assess your risk of developing vitiligo. The condition is most common among people with family members who have it, which suggests a genetic cause. You’re also more likely to experience vitiligo if you have certain other autoimmune disorders, such as:
While vitiligo can appear at any age, most people get their initial diagnosis before age 20.
Integrated Dermatology of Montrose evaluates you with a skin exam to diagnose vitiligo before discussing your options for treatment. The most appropriate course of treatment is determined by the condition’s progression, the age at which you get a diagnosis, and the overall impact of the condition on your life.
Immunosuppressant medications reduce the activity of your immune system. Since vitiligo involves an overactive immune system, these topical medications may help with smaller patches of pigment loss.
Anti-inflammatory corticosteroids can restore color to patches of skin or hair with pigment loss. They can take several months to take effect but are an excellent option for children or those with larger patches of skin discoloration.
Light therapy using narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) can stop or slow your condition’s progression. You might undergo light therapy while taking other medications.
Skin grafts and similar surgeries can transplant skin from an area unaffected by vitiligo to one that is. This may be an option if you have small patches of vitiligo.
It’s important to note that treatments for vitiligo don’t necessarily cure the condition, and it can take months to see improvements. However, the Integrated Dermatology of Montrose team works closely with you to find the most suitable course or combination of treatments.
Call Integrated Dermatology of Montrose or schedule an appointment online to review your vitiligo treatment options today.