As I mentioned earlier, vitiligo is a condition in which the cells of the skin responsible for pigmentation either stop working or die. And when these cells stop working they produce the most notable symptom of vitiligo, the light patches of skin that can be found anywhere on the body. These cells are called melanocytes. They are located at the bottom level of the epidermis. (The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin.) No one knows why this condition affects people or where it comes from. Many scientists have speculated about all kinds of environmental factors but no one cause has been identified. What has been identified is that vitiligo affects EVERYBODY!
Vitiligo affects every race, it crosses the gender lines and economic status has no bearing on it. It can affect young and old alike and everyone that is affected is looking for a cure! Currently, there is no cure for vitiligo. But there are several treatments that have shown great promise in relieving the symptoms. Some of the treatments for vitiligo include:
1. Transplanting Melanocytes - These are the cells that are responsible for pigment. This treatment goes to the heart of the problem. The doctors transplant these cells from another part of your body (most likely your gluteal region...), to the areas affected with the vitiligo. This treatment has has numerous successes wherein patients have reported nearly complete repigmentation. But there has been some drawbacks. Some patients have reported that the vitiligo returned months later.
2. Ultraviolet Light Treatments - This treatment involves using the power of the UVA or UVB spectrum of ultraviolet light to stimulate the cells of the skin. The UVA treatment was used in conjunction with either ingesting or applying a drug called Psoralen. Using psoralen makes your skin sensitive to light, therefore allowing your skin to darken. The UVB treatment was founded later and did not involve using psoralen. Patients could just expose themselves to the UVB light.
There are many more treatments for vitiligo, but I do not have the room to list them all in this article. As with all treatments, there is a chance that it might not work on you. Not all treatments will work for all people. So it's important that you, the person affected by vitiligo, do not stop looking for that one treatnment that can help you on your way to relieving your vitiligo.