Vitiligo is a pigment disorder that results in depigmentation of the skin, hair, eyes or oral tissue inside the mouth. People with vitiligo may have a few patches of skin that loses its natural color, or it can be widespread over the body. Vitiligo is not contagious and does not pose a health risk, but those experiencing the symptoms may be concerned about the changes to their appearance. Dr. Katherine Chiang at Precision Medical Specialists is an experienced dermatologist who offers vitiligo treatment at our medical center in Wellington, FL.
What Causes Vitiligo or Skin Depigmentation?
The cause of vitiligo is not known. Skin depigmentation occurs when the cells containing melanin, melanocytes, die. Vitiligo affects all skin colors and genders – millions of people have vitiligo, and it is almost always a lifelong condition. Half of vitiligo cases begin before the person is 21 years of age. There are different types of vitiligo:
- Segmental vitiligo – This affects only one segment of the body, like an arm, leg or face. About half of people with segmental vitiligo lose some hair color (scalp, eyelashes or eyebrows) and this type usually begins in childhood.
- Non-segmental vitiligo – This type is the most common and can affect anywhere and on both sides of the body. The pigment loss usually begins in the fingers, hands, feet or around the eyes. Non-segmental vitiligo has start and stop cycles of pigmentation loss that can occur throughout a person’s lifetime.
Subtypes of vitiligo include localized where patches of depigmentation only occur in specific areas. A small amount of people experience the universal subtype where all pigment is gone. The most common subtype is generalized, where patches of depigmentation skin or hair occurs all over the body.
Skin Depigmentation Treatments
There are a wide variety of possible treatments to combat the skin depigmentation symptoms of vitiligo. Some patients prefer to explore non-medical options that can cover or camouflage skin depigmentation, while others want more permanent solutions. Some possible vitiligo treatment options include light treatment/therapy, topical medications and surgery. Dr. Chiang can discuss the different treatments available and provide a customized treatment plan best suited to your condition and desired results.
If you have vitiligo and want to learn more about treatment, contact us at Precision Medical Specialists. Contact our medical center in Wellington, FL, to schedule your consultation for vitiligo treatment with Dr. Chiang.