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Jul30

MYTHS AND FACTS REGARDING VITILIGO

There are many myths regarding vitiligo specially in the Indian population

  • The most common is that it is communicable/ contagious and it spreads by skin to skin contact- it is not true at all. This myth is harmful for the population as a whole as well as highly unfair to those who have vitiligo.
  • Vitiligo is incurable is another myth. If patients come early in the disease process and follows all the scientific measures as prescribed by the treating dermatologist, it is definitely possible to cure vitiligo in many patients and at least arrest the progression in many others.
  • Some people believe the vitiligo is increased by taking milk or other white foods and specially in India people believe that consuming fish after taking milk will cause vitiligo, there has been no link found and no scientific basis of above dietary habits causing vitiligo and patients should ignore these statements. In fact no direct relation to food has been found till now.

About the procedure

A section of skin graft is taken from the donor site (skin of normal color) which is then processed by an enzyme known as trypsin. The separated cells are then centrifuged.

This melanocyte rich suspension is then laid over the prepared bed on the site of vitiligo patch (which is prepared by dermabrasion).

Dressing of both the sites are done (donor and recipient) immediately, which is removed after a week.

Local anesthesia is administered so as to make the surgery pain-free for the patient’s convenience.

BENEFITS OF EXCIMER THERAPY-

  • It is precise, as it only targets the localized area of the patches and does not affect the surrounding skin.
  • It is painless.
  • There is no major downtime.
  • Excimer therapy is a boon for those patients who have small localized patches (0n arms, legs, face, elbow, back, chest etc) and do not require full body phototherapy. For those patients with generalized vitiligo, the ideal option would be Narrowband UVB Chamber therapy.

Benefits Of Phototherapy

  • Significant improvement in the quality of life has been observed in the patients of generalized vitiligo undergoing phototherapy when combined with medications.
  • With phototherapy going on, the required doses of medicines gradually decreases thus decreasing the chances of long term side effects of medicines.
  • Patients experience a boost in their self-esteem as they keep on witnessing better results per session.
  • Phototherapy aids to prevent the formation of new patches thereby helping patients regain the confidence to face the world.

What causes vitiligo?

  • Melanin is the pigment which determines the color of our skin and hair.
  • The cells responsible for producing melanin (Melanocytes) are unable to function in case of Vitiligo thus causing loss of color of skin.
  • These white areas can either be localized or can continue to grow and are easily noticeable.
  • Melanocytes can be reintroduced to the affected areas via various methods to treat vitiligo.

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