Vitiligo is incurable but manageable disease. The treatment options have undergone a sea change over the past decade. However, there is no universally effective drug or even a common viewpoint on vitiligo therapy at present, due to extreme variability of the disease and environmental conditions.
Consensus treatment guidelines are offered at national or regional levels (PubMed). Efficiency of various therapeutic modalities depends on the age of patient and time since disease onset, skin photo type, genetic background and a number of yet unknown factors.
Therapeutic regimens for vitiligo include phototherapy with optional psoralens, climatotherapy, topical or systemic corticosteroids, used with or without skin abrasion, a variety of surgical techniques to transplant melanocytes from pigmented skin to nonpigmenting areas. Cosmetic camouflage is also useful to disguise the white areas of skin. Depigmentation is the last line therapy for patients with extensive vitiligo who fail to respond or are unwilling to undergo treatment, but spontaneous regimentation of depigmented areas is not uncommon.
In our studies it was shown that certain immunomodulators could be effective at stopping vitiligo progression. However, even after successful therapy, disease relapse may happen within weeks or years. Evidence suggests that an average relapse time is 4-7 years that may be extended with personalized diet and lifestyle suggestions.
The selection of patients for therapy should take into consideration the patient’s motivation, the psychological impact of the disease and the clinical presentation of vitiligo, and should weigh the risks and benefits of prolonged therapy.
Throughout different presentations offered at Master Classes on Vitiligo, we review features, benefits, side-effects and costs of potential interventions. In addition to our FAQ, new evidence-based guidelines are now being developed by VR Foundation to offer a practical handbook for use by clinicians in different settings.
To help you navigate the sea of vitiligo treatments and products, we begin a new REVIEWS section in early 2016. In the meantime, feel free to sign up to our monthly newsletter and you are guaranteed to receive the most recent and relevant information on vitiligo.
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What is coming?
NY Vitiligo Community Meeting in September
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, September 21st, at 7PM - 8:30PM on the 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Care Center at 240 East 38th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Av...21 September 2017 19:00, 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Car...
Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the US Capitol
Save-the-Date for the much anticipated Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the United States Capitol this fall. As many of you know, the Advocacy Committee of the Global Vitilig...04 October 2017 10:00, Washington, DC
Can chemicals cause vitiligo?
Yes, certain chemicals can, indeed, induce or worsen vitiligo. Most commonly they include phenols, such as 4-tertiary-butyl phenol (4-TBP, found in adhesives) or 4-ter...
Can Scenesse be used for vitiligo treatment?
The drug Scenesse from Clinuvel has been tested in clinical trials in relation vitiligo. Profs. Henry Lim, Mark Lebwohl and coauthors reported (PubMed) results of mult...
I have a new job - should I tell colleagues about my vitiligo?
If you are starting a new job and you are concerned about stares and questions about your skin, try a proactive approach. When the time is right and you are feeling co...
Why there is no drug for vitiligo yet?
Despite the dearth of medications available to treat psoriasis - a disease with similar prevalence numbers and impact on quality of life - vitiligo has no known cure o...