Vitiligo can appear on any part of the body. It can be scattered, sporadic, segmental or affecting the mucocutaneous junctions of the body. For example: lips, eyes, corners of the mouth, finger tips, toes etc.
Vitiligo patches on mucocutaneous junction are very often bilaterally symmetrical (on both sides of the body) and difficult to treat.
In Dr Rajesh Shah’s experience, vitiligo of mucocutaneous junction has a very strong family history of one or more autoimmune diseases. It shows a strong genetic factor. However, vitiligo of mucocutaneous junction is seen without such history.
According to Dr Rajesh Shah, MD, such patients are better left untreated because no medical treatment works on these kinds of patients.
What are the other options available for the treatment of such cases?
Conventional system of medicine offers following two types therapies.
- Medical therapy
- Surgical therapy
- Tropical steroids: Here patients are given creams mostly containing steroids to apply on the affected part of the body.
- Psoralen phtochemotherapy: This is the most effective treatment available for Vitiligo.
- Topical psoralen photochemotherapy: This type of treatment is used for the patients who have small depigmented patches and for the children above the age of 2 years. A thin coat of psoralene is applied on the body and patient is exposed to the UVA light two or three times a week.
- Oral psoralen photochemotherapy: This treatment is used for extensive and obstinate cases of Vitiligo. However, this therapy is not used for the children below the age of 10 years.
- Excimer Laser: This therapy is safe, effective and well tolerated in the patients of chronic Vitiligo limited to less than 30% of the body surface.
Surgical treatment for Vitiligo
Surgical therapy must be considered only after the medical therapy is tried on the patients. Surgical therapy is not only time consuming but also very costly. Moreover, patients should confirm with their insurance company whether they can claim for the surgery or not.
Surgical treatment includes following options.
- Autologous skin grafts
- Skin grafts using blisters
- Autologous melanocyte transplant
Vitiligo Before After Treatment Photos of Patients: