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Health Condition

Vitiligo

About This Condition

Vitiligo is a type of skin discoloration characterized by progressively widening areas of depigmented (very white) skin.

The depigmentation that occurs with this condition is associated with the local destruction of melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment that darkens the skin, called melanin. Vitiligo affects 1–4% of the world’s population.1

Symptoms

Symptoms of vitiligo include decreased or absent pigmentation in localized or diffuse areas of the skin. Hair in these areas is typically white, and the skin tends to sunburn more easily.

Other Therapies

Other treatment includes cosmetic creams and tanning solutions. Treatment may also involve the management of any underlying medical condition, such as Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, scleroderma, melanoma-associated leukoderma, chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, and autoimmune disorders (including Grave’s disease, diabetes mellitus, pernicious anemia, and Addison’s disease). Rarely, skin transplants may be necessary.

References

1. Ortonne JP, Bose SK. Vitiligo: where do we stand? Pigment Cell Res 1993;6:61-72.

2. Dell'Anna ML, Mastrofrancesco A, Sala R, et el. Antioxidants and narrow band-UVB in the treatment of vitiligo: a double-blind placebo controlled trial. Clin Exp Dermatol 2007;32:631-6.

3. Montes LF, Diaz ML, Lajous J, Garcia NJ. Folic acid and vitamin B12 in vitiligo: a nutritional approach. Cutis 1992;50:39-42.

4. Juhlin L, Olsson MJ. Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure. Acta Derm Venereol 1997;77:460-2.

5. Parsad D, Pandhi R, Juneja A. Effectiveness of oral Ginkgo biloba in treating limited, slowly spreading vitiligo. Clin Exp Dermatol 2003;28:285-7.

6. Szczurko O, Shear N, Taddio A, Boon H. Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of vitilgo vulgaris: an open label pilot clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011;11:21.

7. Abdel-Fattah, Aboul-Enein MN, Wassel GM, El-Menshawi BS. An approach to the treatment of vitiligo by khellin. Dermatologica 1982;165:136-40.

8. Siddiqui AH, Stolk LM, Bhaggoe R, et al. L-phenylalanine and UVA irradiation in the treatment of vitiligo. Dermatology 1994;188:215-8.

9. Schulpis CH, Antoniou C, Michas T, Strarigos J. Phenylalanine plus ultraviolet light: preliminary report of a promising treatment for childhood vitiligo. Pediatr Dermatol 1989;6:332-5.

10. Camacho F, Mazuecos J. Treatment of vitiligo with oral and topical phenylalanine: 6 years of experience. Arch Dermatol 1999;135:216-7.

11. Bedi KL, Zutshi U, Chopra CL, Amla V. Picrorhiza kurroa, an Ayurvedic herb, may potentiate photochemotherapy in vitiligo. J Ethnopharmacol 1989;27:347-52.

12. Montes LF, Diaz ML, Lajous J, Garcia NJ. Folic acid and vitamin B12 in vitiligo: a nutritional approach. Cutis 1992;50:39-42.

13. Juhlin L, Olsson MJ. Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure. Acta Derm Venereol 1997;77:460-2.

14. Francis HW. Achlorhydria as an etiological factor in vitiligo, with report of four cases. Nebraska State Med J 1931;16(1):25-6.

15. Sieve BF. Further investigations in the treatment of vitiligo. Virginia Med Monthly 1945;Jan:6-17.

16. Sieve BF. Further investigations in the treatment of vitiligo. Virginia Med Monthly 1945;Jan:6-17.

17. Montes LF, Diaz ML, Lajous J, Garcia NJ. Folic acid and vitamin B12 in vitiligo: a nutritional approach. Cutis 1992;50:39-42.

18. Juhlin L, Olsson MJ. Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure. Acta Derm Venereol 1997;77:460-2.

19. Parsad D, Saini R, Nagpal R. Calcipotriol in vitiligo: A preliminary study. Pediatr Dermatol 1999;16:317-20.

20. Shenefelt PD. Hypnosis in dermatology. Arch Dermatol 2000;136:393-9.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat VITILIGO. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing