Vitiligo Laser Treatment  

Description of Vitiligo

 
Vitiligo is a disorder in which patches of white skin appear on various parts of the body. The skin is white because the cells responsible for producing brown pigment have disappeared in these areas. Most patients have a complete loss of pigment in localized areas of the skin.
 
These areas, often around the mouth and eyes, become completely white. As a result, vitiligo can be cosmetically disfiguring, especially for darker skinned people. In addition, the depigmented skin is sun sensitive, and therefore subject to sunburns and skin cancer.
 
Vitiligo is a common condition afflicting 3-5% of the population and although it may appear at any age, it most commonly commences in childhood or early adult-life.
 
Vitiligo is an inherited condition but it frequently skips generations so that only 60-80% of patients know of a family member with the condition. How a genetic defect leads to loss of pigment cells in the skin is only poorly understood. It appears that the immune defense system of the body recognizes the cells as foreign and not of the self and proceeds to kill them. The fact that only some pigment cells are killed and not all of them suggests the defect lies in the cells themselves.
 

Diagnosis of Vitiligo

 
Vitiligo can usually be readily diagnosed without resort to any special investigation. Most patients are otherwise healthy and the disorder is limited to the skin. However, about one in five patients have had or will have increased or decreased function of the thyroid gland. If any symptoms suggest a thyroid disturbance this can be easily investigated by appropriate blood tests.
 
Vitiligo is often brushed aside as being "just a cosmetic defect" with the inference that it does not require any treatment. This is incorrect because every patient requires some treatment. The treatment should be tailored individually to the needs of the patient and the extent and location of the vitiligo
 

Laser Therapy Promises Excellent Results

 
"The Excimer Laser ultraviolet B phototherapy is a promising new treatment for vitiligo," says James M. Spenser, M.D., M.S., Director of Dermatologic Surgery, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York Dermatology Times
 
The XTRAC Excimer laser delivers UVB light which stimulates the pigment producing cells, and this laser's deep penetration enables the light to reach any surviving pigments producing cells in the vitiliginous areas.
 
This laser therapy over a period of time may provide complete repigmentation for patients with this otherwise incurable condition.
 

Description of Vitiligo

Laser Therapy Promises Excellent Results

 
   
 
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