Vitiligo is a long term condition which is characterized by pale white patches on the skin. They develop due to lack of a skin pigment known as melanin. There are many misconceptions about vitiligo. Some of the frequently asked questions include, does vitiligo go completely? What is the fastest way to treat it? Let us look at some of these queries in detail.
Does Vitiligo Go Completely?
It can affect any part of the skin but more commonly is seen occurring on the skin exposed to the sun such as face, neck, and arms. The severity of this condition varies in different people. Some would get few small white patches, while in few the patches might combine to cover larger areas of the skin. The causes of vitiligo are believed to be some changes in genes related to the immune system, which regulate inflammation.1
There are various paths through which vitiligo manifests.
Let us understand more to answer the query, does vitiligo go completely? Th fact is that vitiligo has a long term of treatment. While there is no cure for vitiligo, there are several treatment options that help depigmentation. Some studies have shown the effect of certain medications and depigmentation agents that helps improve the quality of life of vitiligo patients.2 The main goal of treatment lays stress on reducing the contrast in color between the affected and the unaffected skin. There are various treatment options for it, but how each patient reacts to different therapies is different. In some cases, the treatment given might restore the color of the patches, but their effect will not stop the condition from spreading.
What Are The Fastest Ways To Treat Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is more than just a cosmetic issue. There are various treatments for it, which if followed well, can decrease the visibility of the white patches.
Sunscreen is usually recommended for everyone, to be used even when it’s not sunny outside. This is the commonest way to treat vitiligo as it helps reduce the severity of the condition. A person suffering from vitiligo is recommended to use sunscreen because the light patches are very sensitive to sunlight. A dermatologist can suggest the best suitable sunscreen for the condition.
Phototherapy is a common option to treat vitiligo. It is the exposure of the affected skin to UVB lamps. If the white patches are present all over the body UVB phototherapy is used, which involves full-body treatment. If combined with other treatments UVB phototherapy proves to be really very effective.
UVA phototherapy procedure involves giving the patient drugs which increase the sensitivity to UVA light. Then the affected skin is exposed to high doses of UVA light. The visible results are noticed within a period of 6-12 months.
Various creams and ointments can be used to camouflage the white patches. Most of the cosmetics are waterproof and their effect may last up to 12-18 hours on the skin. This is preferred by some people, although they do not actually treat vitiligo.
This is one of the popular ways to treat vitiligo. This procedure is used when the white pigmentation affects more than 50 percent of the body. In such cases reducing the color of the unaffected parts is done to match the white areas. Depigmentation can be done using strong topical lotions or ointment, mequinol or hydroquinone.
Depending on the depth of the tone depigmentation procedure can take 12-14 months’ time. It is a permanent procedure but can make the skin fragile.
Topical corticosteroids are the creams and ointments which contain steroids. These too are considered as effective ways to treat vitiligo. Some studies claim total restoration of the original skin condition. They should not be used on the face. If any side effect is noticed their usage should be stopped.
In skin graft, the surgeon removes healthy patches of skin from the unaffected areas to cover the affected ones. It is not a common treatment and can lead to scarring in the area where the skin is removed. This option must be well evaluated by the treating physician.
There are various home remedies which can very well help with vitiligo. These too are considered as some of the effective ways to treat vitiligo.
Papaya– Papaya is one of the healthiest known fruits. It is beneficial in treating the vitiligo affected skin. You can rub papaya on the white patches. Wash it when dry. You can also drink papaya juice to replenish the body of melanin cells, which are lost due to vitiligo.
Red Clay- Due to the rich copper content red clay proves to be an effective treatment for vitiligo. You can make a paste of red clay and add ginger juice to it. Ginger helps in improving blood flow to the patches.
Stress– Stress might not be a cause but is surely a trigger of vitiligo. It is therefore important to take less stress to prevent vitiligo from worsening.
Drink Water From The Copper Vessel- Copper helps in increasing melanin in the body, drinking water stored in the copper vessel can be effective in treating vitiligo. Staying hydrated can otherwise also help in keeping the body fit and away from illnesses.
Basil Leaves- Due to anti-aging and anti-viral properties of basil leaves it is effective in dealing with vitiligo. Mix basil leaves with lime juice, and apply it on the affected areas every day.
Even if vitiligo does not go completely, there are effective ways to treat it, which reduce the severity. Alternative therapies like Homeopathy, Ayurveda may also be helpful and can be tried with expert’s advice. People who are young have higher chances of recovery from the condition as compared to those who get vitiligo later in their life.
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