Vitiligo can affect more than just your skin – it can also affect your self-esteem and quality of life. For those seeking to resolve their vitiligo, our providers at Borealis Dermatology can provide effective treatment to reduce its spread and help replenish your natural skin color.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes areas of the skin to lose pigmentation. The discoloration spreads and enlarges, affecting the surfaces of all skin, hair, and even the inside of the mouth. This disorder can develop at any age, typically appearing before age 30. Because this condition does not have a cure, it is important to follow up with your provider consistently and manage your discoloration.
Did you know…
While vitiligo can affect people with all skin types, it most often occurs in people with darker skin tones. This often contributes to stigmatization for those within Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, as it often leads to inadequate diagnosis and ineffective treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Vitiligo develop?
Vitiligo typically causes patchy loss of skin color, often first appearing on the hands, face, or genitals. However, the disorder can develop in various patterns, like appearing on only one side of the body or a few areas on the body. This condition also typically causes premature whitening of hair follicles, such as the eyebrows, scalp, and beard. This loss of color to the tissues can even affect the inside of the mouth and nose.
What causes Vitiligo?
This condition is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your own immune system attacks your natural cells. In vitiligo, melanocyte cells that produce pigment, or melanin, are attacked. This prevents your body from producing the proper amount of melanin, if any. When you notice light spots and patches on your skin, getting an accurate diagnosis early on is critical, as it may also indicate other disorders.
How is Vitiligo treated?
While there is no cure for vitiligo, we can reduce its spread and even restore your natural skin color. At Borealis Dermatology, our providers can provide an effective treatment plan that is personalized to your medical background and concerns.
Some options for treatment include:
- Topical Corticosteroids: These creams or ointments can be applied to reduce inflammation and potentially restore melanocyte activity. Because it is a steroid cream, maintaining correct usage and consistent follow ups with your provider is crucial.
- UVB/UVA Light Therapy: Also called phototherapy or Excimer laser, this treatment shines ultraviolet light onto the discolored areas to shut down the immune cells in the skin.
- Immune System Suppressants: Creams like Opzelura fight directly with the immune system to prevent it from attacking your normal cells. It can be applied to the discolored areas to help reduce their spread and replenish your skin color.
- Camouflage Creams: Although it is not a medical treatment, you can apply camouflage creams to cover the discoloration temporarily.
Contact Borealis Dermatology to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to see if you notice any white or colorless patches. Borealis Dermatology offers two convenient locations to provide various treatments for our patients in the Queens and Long Island areas. You can experience the highest medical and aesthetic expertise available through our treatment options by visiting our clinic.