Conditions: Vitiligo

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of the skin to lose its pigmentation. These patches appear lighter than normal and can vary from a few small patches to many large ones. This condition can affect the whole body, including skin, hair, eyes, and the inside of the mouth.

Who can get vitiligo?

Anyone can get vitiligo. It appears equally across race, gender, and skin color. In many, symptoms present themselves before the patient reaches 21 years of age and remain for the rest of their lives. The symptoms of vitiligo rarely disappear. Having a close relative who has vitiligo or having an autoimmune disease may increase your chances of getting vitiligo.

What causes vitiligo?

When melanocytes, the cells that pigment our hair and skin, die, they leave behind patches of non-pigmented skin that appear lighter than the rest. Scientists are not sure why the cells die this way. It is possible that vitiligo is a type of autoimmune disease. If the immune system thinks melanocytes are foreign bodies, it will attack and kill them.

What are the treatment options?

There are no “home runs” treating vitiligo. The best to date is treatment with narrowband UVB phototherapy. This can be done in a walk-in booth to treat the whole body or with a laser to treat localized areas. The lesions respond better to treatment with narrowband UVB if used in combination with a natural supplement and a topical anti-inflammatory cream.

How to get started:

We provide solutions for people with vitiligo. Set a consultation today by calling (206) 267-2100 and our specialists will skillfully administer the treatment or combination of treatments.

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