Do you suffer from the loss of skin color in blotchy patterns? If so, you may be suffering from a disease called vitiligo. Vitiligo affects more than 200,000 Americans each year and unfortunately, cannot be cured. If you believe you’re suffering from vitiligo, it’s time for you to visit with a dermatologist. Our team of experts at Azeal Dermatology Institute in Boulder can help diagnose your skin disease and provide you with the best treatment options. Schedule an appointment now!
What Is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a disease that causes your skin to lose color in blotches. Any area of the body can be affected, including your hair and inside the mouth. This skin disease occurs when the cells that produce melanin, the pigment in your skin, dies or stops functioning properly. All skin types can be affected by vitiligo, but it is often more noticeable on people with darker skin.
What Are The Symptoms of Vitiligo?
Vitiligo has a small range of symptoms. However, it’s noticeable because it affects the biggest organ in the body — your skin. If you’re experiencing loss of skin color on any part of your body, including the inside of your mouth, your eyes, and/or premature hair whitening, you may be suffering from this disease. While vitiligo can begin at any age, it often appears before the age of 20.
People who have vitiligo may be at higher risk of:
- Social or psychological distress
- Skin cancer and sunburn
- Hearing loss
- Eye problems, such as inflammation of the iris
Types of Vitiligo
The types of vitiligo are determined based on where and how large your discolored patches of skin are.
- Generalized Vitiligo: This is the most common type and covers many parts of the body. Patches generally progress symmetrically on corresponding body parts.
- Segmental Vitiligo: This type happens on only one side or part of the body. This vitiligo occurs most often at a younger age, progresses for a year or two, and then stops.
- Localized (Focal) Vitiligo: This type of the disease covers one or only a few areas of the body.
It is difficult to determine how your patches will progress and sometimes the patches will stop forming without treatment. However, more often than not, the patches spread and will eventually affect most of the skin, and the skin rarely gets its color back. This is why getting treatment early on is important!
What Are Treatment Options For Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is non-reversible, but there are many different treatment options available to help reduce the spread of skin discoloration and may even return some of your skin color. Medications, such as steroids and immunosuppressive drugs are often used. You may also be recommended for a medical treatment called photodynamic therapy. Regardless of treatment, it’s important you always perform self-care, such as applying sunscreen and scheduling ultraviolet light therapy.
If you’re uncertain you have vitiligo, or you were diagnosed by a specialist, please be sure to contact the leading dermatologists in Boulder. We have the experience you can trust. Contact Azeal Dermatology Institute to learn more and schedule your appointment now! Our dermatologists will be able to help you find the best treatment option for you and help you better understand your disease.