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talkhealth forums • Vitiligo
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Vitiligo

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:19 pm
by traceyjy
I have recently been diagnosed with Vitiligo on my face and neck. What causes this and can it be cured. Many thanks

Re: Vitiligo

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:21 pm
by Dr Emma Wedgeworth
Hi there,
Sorry to hear this.

Vitiligo is what's known as an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system within your skin has become confused and is now reacting against the pigment producing cells in your skin (melanocytes). This reaction means your pigment producing cells switch off, no longer produce pigment and therefore patches of skin become white. The tendency to have these types of conditions is intrinsic within you and is unlikely to be anything you have done/eaten etc.

in terms of cure, we don't have an exact cure, however we do have ways of managing this. Firstly, be especially careful in the sun and use high factor sunscreen on patches. Secondly, creams such as steroids and calcineurin inhibitors can be very helpful. Light therapy can also be of use, but this will need to be done through a dermatologist. Remember there is a chance that things will get better by themselves. Cosmetic camouflage can also be brilliant.

Best wishes