Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease of the skin that causes disfiguring white spots or patches of skin to lose their color that can appear anywhere on the body. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for making skin pigments are destroyed. Vitiligo can occur to people of any age, region or sex and can affect any part of the body.
Some of the treatments for Vitiligo are:
1. Creams and ointments - Creams and ointments are available by prescription only. Corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors are powerful anti-inflammatories that are used to reduce the spread of pigmentation loss, decrease inflammation and to bring your skin natural color. Corticosteroids are used for widespread areas whereas, for small areas, Calcineurin inhibitors can be used. Some of the side effects of this treatment are that it can cause lymphoma or skin cancer and thinning of the skin.
2. Light therapy (Photochemotherapy ) - This is one of the most effective and oldest treatments for vitiligo. In this,
treatments controlled exposure to ultraviolet rays B (UVB) light is used to correct discoloration. Sometimes UVA therapy is combined with a plant-based medication called psoralen called PUVA. The medication is taken orally or applied to smaller areas of affected skin. The depigmented skin is exposed to UVB light several times a week, either in a clinic or at home. and for PUVA treatments, it needs to be repeated up to three times a week for at least six months. The PUVA treatments are said to be 85% effective.
3. Skin grafting - It is used when Light therapy doesn't work and you have smaller skin patches. In this treatment, a small part of your skin from one area not affected by vitiligo is removed and surgically implanting it to areas of affect area. Skin grafting has complications like the affected patches may fail to regain pigment.
4. Ginkgo biloba - It is not a mainstream treatment but used as an alternative remedy for vitiligo treatment. It is a herbal treatment.
5. Home remedies - Some of the home remedies for the vitiligo is:
- A mixture of lemon and sweet basil extract
- A mixture of turmeric and mustard oil
- Taking immune system-boosting foods that contain phytochemicals, beta-carotene, and antioxidants like banana, apples, dates, figs, chickpeas, lettuce, carrot, beetroot, radish, etc.
- Adding minerals like copper (drinking a glass of water out of a copper cup), iron(eating food that was cooked in a cast-iron vessel) and zinc(via a supplement) in our daily intake.
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