At Bodian Dermatology, we are dedicated to meeting your skin care needs with the best possible care, especially when you are faced with a difficult situation, like losing your skin's pigment. Vitiligo is a skin condition in which the immune system attacks the skin, destroying melanocytes (melanin-producing cells). Skin pigment is no longer created, resulting in patches of white skin and hair on the body. It may also affect your eye color and hair color. There is no known cause of vitiligo, but medical professionals think genetics may play a part. It may appear at birth or not show up until later in life. Individuals of all skin colors can suffer from vitiligo, but the condition is more noticeable in those with darker skin tones. The white patches can stay the same, or they may spread and get worse over time. Dermatologist Dr. Adam Bodian recommends not disregarding the signs of vitiligo, even if they are minimal. We invite you to contact our Great Neck, NY office to schedule your appointment for a diagnosis today.
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Causes of Vitiligo
Vitiligo can occur in children and adults of any skin type. Although there is no known cause of vitiligo, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, thus decreasing or stopping the body's pigment production. The condition is more common in patients with an immune system problem, such as hyperthyroidism. It is possible for babies and young children to have a genetic predisposition to vitiligo.
Patients with vitiligo may notice light patches on various parts of the body or even on the entire body. The condition is not contagious or painful but may spread to other body areas over time. Vitiligo typically first appears on the hands, face, genitals, and areas near body openings. Loss of color may also be found inside the patient's nose or mouth, or in the hair on the scalp, eyebrows, beard, or eyelashes. It may also affect your iris color. Distinct characteristics may also include:
- Localized: White patches appear only on specific body parts
- Unilateral: Pigmentation loss primarily shows up on or in close proximity to the mouth and nose
- Acrofacial: White spots are only seen on the hands and feet
How Vitiligo Is Treated
Dr. Bodian and his dermatology team understand the toll that vitiligo can take on your emotions and self-confidence, and our goal is to help you feel better in your own skin. For patients who believe they have vitiligo, our team will provide a comprehensive exam and skin assessment to best plan your correct course of treatment. Laser therapy works well for many vitiligo patients. If we determine you are a candidate, we will use the XTRAC® laser device to deliver a targeted beam of UVB laser light energy into skin areas affected by vitiligo, which takes about 5 – 10 minutes. After XTRAC laser therapy, you should see a reduction in the appearance of your skin depigmentation.
Can vitiligo go away on its own?
There is currently no cure for vitiligo. However, treatments at Bodian Dermatology can help treat the symptoms of vitiligo and keep it from spreading. During a thorough consultation, Dr. Bodian and his team can evaluate your condition and create a customized treatment plan specifically for you.
How can I stop vitiligo from spreading?
UVB treatments are an effective solution to help diminish the spreading of vitiligo. It has been shown to effectively slow or stop vitiligo from spreading. Additional treatments, such as topical steroids, may also be provided for even further results.
Can sun exposure make vitiligo worse?
White patches created by vitiligo can be more sensitive to sun exposure. Additionally, sun exposure can make dark areas of the skin even darker. This can create a more obvious contrast and make vitiligo more noticeable.
Learn more about Vitiligo
At Bodian Dermatology, we are committed to helping you manage your vitiligo symptoms. Our compassionate team is here to listen to your concerns and make you feel as comfortable as possible when you visit our office. Our goal is to deliver quality treatment to help you manage your symptoms and get back to living your life. We welcome you to contact us in Great Neck, NY to schedule your dermatology appointment.