Vitiligo: treatment, cure and course


Forms of treatment for vitiligo

Therapy for small areas of skin affected by vitiligo

The following treatment options are available:

Cortisone ointments
The application of some prescribed ointments to the affected areas of the skin can only help with vitiligo if it is carried out in a timely manner.
Local therapy is effective when the disease is at the initial stage of development.
Once the white spots form, applying creams or ointments with corticosteroids, such as calcipotriol, can help:

  • to eliminate the whitenings,
  • restore the natural color of the skin.

After the start of therapy, in 45% of cases, the color of white spots returns to normal within 3-4 months, partially or completely.
This is the best treatment for vitiligo in the early stages.

This therapy shows increased effect in:

  • dark people,
  • facial.

It is less effective at:

  • Hands
  • feet.

Among the novelties in the treatment of vitiligo are:

  • Excimer laser – stimulates the growth of melanocytes (cells in the epidermis that contain melanin).
    It is carried out 2-3 sessions per week for a couple of weeks.
    As a rule, this therapy does not show good results, in addition, it is lengthy and expensive.
    The American Academy of Dermatology states:

    • in 44% of cases, the results fade within a year;
    • in 86% of cases, the skin has turned white again after 4 years.
  • Surgical procedure to self-transplant healthy skin from other parts of the body. A piece of skin is taken from another area of the body (usually thighs or buttocks) and transplanted onto the white spots. This therapy is contraindicated in patients with mild scarring or keloid formation. In 90% of cases, the results are good, but scars and infections can develop. The receiving area may have a pebble-like appearance or may not regain pigmentation.
  • Melanocyte transplantation: The surgeon removes melanocytes from healthy skin. In the laboratory, these are multiplied and then implanted in the areas affected by vitiligo.
    The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
    It is an experimental and very expensive treatment. The current results show a success rate of 95%.

Therapy for diffuse vitiligo

Phototherapy with ultraviolet rays PUVA
PUVA (psoralen plus UV-A) is a therapy for repigmentation and is used to remove white spots.
The PUVA combines the psoralene with the ultraviolet A rays.

  • A thin layer of psoralen is applied to the affected area of the skin,
  • Leave on for 30 minutes.
  • Then this area is exposed to ultraviolet A rays.

Psoralen increases skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light.
The skin affected by vitiligo responds quite well to the bombardment of ultraviolet A rays.
Since it is very sensitive to UVA, the light rays penetrate deep into the skin and correct the problem.
When the skin is bombarded with UVA rays, the affected area of the skin turns pink and eventually takes on the normal color of the skin.

Duration of therapy – Usually 2-3 cycles per week for a period of about 2-3 months are required.
Indications – PUVA is helpful in the treatment of moderate or extensive vitiligo when at least 20% of the skin is affected by white spot disease.
Results – The color can be recovered in 50 to 70% of cases in the following places:

  • Face
  • Legs
  • Arms.

It is not particularly effective on the hands and feet.
Only in 15-20% of cases can the pigmentation in the treated area be fully restored.

Oral psoralen and ultraviolet A rays
Psoralen can also be administered orally. The doctor recommends that the patient take psoralen in the form of tablets or capsules 2 hours before exposure to UVA rays.

Narrowband UVB Phototherapy
Narrowband UVB phototherapy, i.e. at a wavelength of 311 nm (nanometers), is the primarily indicated therapy for vitiligo. In this case, there is no need to take sensitizing drugs before starting treatment.

Characteristics of this therapy:

  • It is short-lived, a few minutes at most.
  • It must be repeated 2 to 3 times a week, the total treatment time varies.
  • Good results on the face: up to 60-70% of cases regain skin color.
  • It does not show any side effects.

Bleaching of the residual skin
When the skin loses its natural color and becomes bright, this process is called depigmentation.
If 50% of vitiligo is observed on the body, PUVA therapy is not used.
One can depigment the normal skin until its color matches the areas affected by vitiligo.

  • The drug used to lighten the skin is called monobenzone.
  • It is applied twice a day to the unchanged areas of the skin to lighten them.
  • This therapy is discontinued if the normal skin areas resemble the skin affected by vitiligo.

The latest discovery is a vaccine made from a protein (HSP70i) that acts on cellular DNA. This drug has been successfully tested in mice, where it was possible to restore 75% of the depigmentation of the coat.
The result of the application for humans is still to be seen.

Nutrition and diet for vitiligo

A natural diet is fundamental for healing; The most effective are:

  • Stone Age diet (Paleo diet),
  • vegan diet with at least 50% raw food,
  • Blood type diet.

Each of these diets has its own peculiarities, but according to the basic natural principles of these diets, the following should be removed from the diet:

  • Sweet
  • milk and dairy products,
  • cereals containing gluten (bread, pasta, pizza, etc.), also reduce other cereals,
  • processed and canned foods from the supermarket,
  • fried foods,
  • Sausages
  • Ready-made sauces.

The doctor recommends to the patient vegetables, they are rich in vitamin A and carotene, such as:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio,
  • chicory and lettuce,
  • Paprika
  • Tomatoes.

You should avoid spices and ready-made foods, as they can irritate.
Those who suffer from vitiligo should consume fruit that contains a lot of vitamins A and C, such as:

  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Honeydew melons.

Intestinal disorders can promote inflammation and disorders of the skin. Therefore, according to naturopaths, it is necessary to have a healthy diet that contains antioxidants, such as:

  • Vitamin A-C-E,
  • Selenium
  • Turmeric
  • Zinc.

Natural treatments and remedies for vitiligo

Piperine cream
In the case of stable vitiligo, a peperine-based cream can help. The cream does not cure the disease, but limits its deterioration.
The cream contains:

  • Piperine
  • black pepper extract,
  • St. John’s wort oil,
  • Melatonin.

Papaya Papaya
reactivates the melanocytes that produce melanin.

  • Cut off a piece of papaya.
  • Triturate.
  • Apply the paste to the skin.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Repeat twice a day.
  • In addition, drink papaya juice.

Ginkgo biloba
According to a study by Parsad D of the Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, the patients who took 40 mg of ginkgo extract three times a day had a statistically significant interruption of depigmentation.

St. John’s wort (Hartheu)
The use of St. John’s wort can help minimize white spots in mild vitiligo.
Rubbing with an alcohol tincture of St. John’s wort can be helpful for this purpose.

Precautions for vitiligo

In addition to the treatment options described above, there are still some precautions that can be taken to accelerate the healing process.

  • Excessive sun exposure can be harmful to a person with vitiligo.
    The damaging UV rays tan the skin, making the white spots even clearer and more visible.
  • Applying a sunscreen (SPF higher than 30) before contact with the sun protects against damage caused by UV rays.
  • Exposure to the sun should be gradual; this promotes the natural re-pigmentation of the skin.
  • In any case, burns and sunburn should be avoided.

What is the course of vitiligo? What happens if it is not treated?

  • In less than a third of patients, the progression of spotting in vitiligo can be stopped and controlled throughout life.
  • In about 30% of patients, spontaneous pigmentation occurs, especially in the areas exposed to the sun: these patients regain their skin color even if they have not undergone any treatment. Usually, however, this does not extend to the entire area of skin color loss.
  • In most patients, vitiligo begins quickly and then progresses slowly with local loss of skin color in certain areas of the body.
  • In other patients, untreated vitiligo progresses relentlessly and can be generalized. In this case, the skin is completely white, showing only a few black or brown patches of skin.

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