It is a condition that is characterized by appearance of white patches over the skin. It is also known as leukoderma. It affects 0.5-1% of the world population, i.e. ~ 5-10 out of every 1000 people develop the disease.
Vitiligo can start at any age and in half the people, it starts before the age of 20. Its course is hard to predict, but itgenerally tends to progress slowly with periods of stability. However, it may progress faster in some and may remain static after a point in others. The hair over the patch may or may not turn white. New patches may appear at sites of injury. Some patches may improve spontaneously.Repigmentation tends to begin perifollicularly(around hairs) initially in addition pigment also comes from the surrounding normal skin. Therefore white patches on non hair bearing area and over joints tend to repigment slowly then other sites.
No, most cases of vitiligo have limited disease (few patches), few new patches can occur with time and old patches can gain colour even without any treatment, and it is rare for a person with few patches to progress to generalized vitiligo.
Diagnosis is made by examining the patient’s skin i.e. by clinical examination. No tests are usually required.
It can occur to anybody of any age, sex or race. It is more obvious (not more common) in people with dark skin. However, why a particular person is affected, and others are not, is not yet known.
No vitiligo is not contagiousand it does not spread by touching, speaking, sleeping, sitting or eating with individuals having vitiligo.
Vitiligo has no effect on physical function or the ability to work.
The kind of clothing does not have anything to do with vitiligo. You can wear all clothes that a normal person does.
The effects of vitiligo are confined to the skin.
Several options are available depending on extent of disease, progress of the disease to treat.
Medical treatments usually given for unstable Vitiligo. Choice of treatment depends on body surface area involved, number of new patches coming out in last 1 – 3 months, and which part of the body involved and side effects of the treatment. Phototherapy (PUVA, PUVA-sol, NB-UVB) can be used in selected cases.
Surgical therapies are done in patients with stable vitiligo (no new patches for 1 year or no increase in size of any old patch).
Hair follicle is a good reservoir of melanocytes. In this technique hair follicles are transplanted in the Vitiligo patch. The melanocytes in roots of hair follicle spreads and repigment the surrounding area. Kindly note Dr. Kavish Chouhan and Dr. Amrendra kumar are the pioneer of body hair transplant in Vitiligo which is now widely practiced by vitiligo surgeons around the world.
In this procedure, the doctor creates blisters on the patient's pigmented skin by using suction. The tops of the blisters are then cut out and transplanted to a depigmented skin area.
In an autologous (use of a person's own tissues) skin graft, the doctor removes skin from one area of a patient's body and attaches it to another area. This type of skin grafting is sometimes used for patients with small patches of vitiligo.
Apart from the medical or surgical treatment you are undergoing: