White Patches on the Skin? It Can Be Vitiligo

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We all love flawless skin and make all efforts to get that. There is no one in this world who would like to have patchy or flawed skin. Yet, there are instances when many of us experience white patches on our skin. white patches on the skin can occur for a variety of reasons such as hyperpigmentation, vitiligo or other conditions. Treatment of white patches largely depends on the condition, but it mostly occurs due to pigmentation loss in the skin. Pigmentation cells or Melanin are the components that give colour to our skin. absence of these cells makes our skin discoloured. To understand the complete phenomenon of skin pigmentation.

What is skin pigmentation?

Pigments in our skin are called melanin, which is a complex polymer derived from the amino acid tyrosine. These cells are distributed throughout the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. Melanin are produced and spread to other skin cells which gives an even colour to our skin. Now, there are instances when these cells accumulate or cluster in groups which form moles, age spots, freckles or other dark spots. on the other hands, if in any place, the pigments cells get destroyed, it forms white patches on the skin. Such conditions are called hypopigmentation and require white patches on skin treatment to eliminate the spots.

What causes the white patches on the skin?

Loss of pigmentation causes major concern for skin and leaves white patches. These uneven patches are hard to eliminate as getting the lost pigments back is quite impossible. However, there are a number of treatments of white patches available that makes the journey easy. To get the correct treatment, it is important to understand and identify the right cause behind pigmentation loss.

What are the conditions that require treatment of white patches?

Tinea Versicolor:

The first one to name under this category is Tinea Versicolor which causes white patches on the skin. This condition occurs when a natural yeast called pityrosporum ovale overgrows of the skin and goes out of control. The patches appear can be lighter or darker which vary persons to persons.
The condition also may occur due to a variety of influencing factors such as hot weather, oily skin, hormonal changes, a weakened immune system, and excessive sweating. In most cases, people going through adolescence and growing young experience this disorder while visiting a warm or humid place. Such white patches on skin treatment are often done with anti-fungal medications which work brilliantly to eliminate the white patches.

Hypopigmentation:

Hypopigmentation is another condition which causes white spots on the skin. It may occur due to trauma, burns, scrapes, blisters, or other injuries which leaves scars on the skin and exhaust the melanin. There are instances when white patches on the skin happen due to inflammatory skin reaction or skin infection which affects or damages the melanin production. Such condition can be Seborrheic dermatitis, pityriasis alba, or eczema etc. Hypopigmentation white patches on skin treatment include creams, topical medications and laser treatments. Although this is a harmless condition, but treatments are required and sometimes treatment can be difficult too. But a good dermatologist prescribed treatment of white patches helps eliminate these white patches on the skin.

Vitiligo:

The major concern raises when the white patches om skin occurs due to vitiligo. This is not a contagious condition, but it is hard to eliminate the white spots with the treatment of white patches. The first sign of this condition always starts with small patches on the skin which gradually spreads through. These patches are most likely to appear first in the sun-exposed areas such as face, neck, shoulder, hands & feet. Although these patches are not contagious, they run through the gene.
The amount of damage caused by this condition is hard for any patient including the treatment of white patches. The amount of psychological damage is higher than physical damage and patients often choose a life with less social contacts. The society always raises eyebrows towards these patients mainly because of the damaged skin appearance and thinks it is contagious. For vitiligo patient, the white patches leave marks on their soul! It hugely affects patient’s way to look at themselves. Unfortunately, the condition has no cure but with the treatment of white patches, the widespread can be controlled.
Vitiligo is an immune system disorder that causes the skin to lose pigments. Basically, the immune cells attack and destroy these pigment cells for unknown reasons. Surprisingly, 4% of the world’s population has this condition. Vitiligo people are also more prone to other immune diseases. Vitiligo white patches on skin treatment include creams, topical medications and laser treatments. People mostly get these white patches between the ages of 10 and 30 but they may occur at later age too.
The Vitiligo white patches on skin treatment include:

• Topical treatment
• Cosmetic camouflage
• Ultraviolet light therapy
• Immune system modulators
• Conventional skin grafts
• Cellular transplantation therapies

Dermatologists apply the suitable treatment of white patches after a thorough understanding of the cause of vitiligo for the individual. Thus, the treatment varies from patient to patient. Sometimes. the condition is dynamic, where the pigment cells go & come back. The most sought-after treatment for vitiligo is laser therapy. Laser treatment of white patches stimulates the melanocyte stem cells to move from hairs to the skin. Over the years, it has shown a high success rate, but the treatment is quite slow. With two or three times a week session, people may see 25% re-pigmentation after three months, 50% after six months and 75% after nine months.
White patches on skin treatment may take time to eliminate the white patches on the skin but ultimately help the patients to leave a normal life.

Depigmentation Therapy for Vitiligo

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Vitiligo or leukoderma is an autoimmune skin condition that results in partial loss of skin pigmentation cells. Pigmentation cells called ‘melanin’ are responsible for our skin colour and absence of them results in white milky patches over the skin surface. The condition can affect any part of the body and cause white patches. However, commonly the condition starts appearing in the sun-exposed areas of the body such as face, lips, hands, feet, neck etc. Depending on the severity of the condition, doctors for white marks on the skin suggest various treatment. Depigmentation treatment is one of such treatment processes.

Depigmentation therapy:

Depigmentation therapy can be best described as a medical procedure to remove skin pigmentation cells. It is mostly used for patients with widespread vitiligo but has few patches of original skin colour left.  In simple words, people who have incomplete vitiligo on faces or other body parts can go under this treatment. It improves their appearance by giving an even skin tone.

This depigmentation therapy for vitiligo is done by using many methods such as Monobenzyl ether of Hydroquinone (MBEH), Topical Diphencyprone (DPCP), Imiquimod, Phenol, Cryotherapy and Lasers. Among them, Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone and lasers are most commonly used and tend to deliver the best results. Doctors for white marks on the skin often use combination therapy as well for faster & better results.

This depigmentation therapy is considered for people with more than 50% widespread vitiligo and has patches over the body parts that are exposed or sensitive to cosmetics. It is necessary for the patients to understand some facts about the depigmentation therapy prior to taking it. These factors must be discussed with the patient to let them understand the process & side effects. These factors may include:

  • Nature of the treatment
  • Care and protection needed for the long run. For example, people undergone depigmentation therapy need to wear medicated sun protection to maintain the benefits of this therapy and reduce the risks of sun damage, cancer or other skin conditions.
  • Longer downtime and requires ‘touch–up’ sessions.
  • May have side effects depending on various individual factors.
  • Repigmentation can be patchy for a while.

Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss treatment options with their family and friends.

Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone

Doctors for white marks on the skin commonly uses MBEH or monobenzone as the depigmenting agent to treat vitiligo patches. It is the only medically approved depigmentation therapy agent for treating vitiligo. It is a derivative of hydroquinone which causes irreversible depigmentation by killing the pigmentation cells. Depending on the individual, doctors may suggest different concentrations. The concentration also depends on the area to be treated for.

Side-effects also may cause after MBEH application, but they are mostly mild ones. If MBEH application causes transient irritation or burning sensation to the patient’s skin, then the doctor may stop the treatment for a while. In the case of blistering, scaling or dry skin, the doctor may suggest some topical corticosteroids cream to apply and stop the process for a while. If any of these side-effects happen, the doctor may reduce the strength of MBEH for next sessions. Very few cases of contact allergic dermatitis are found as a side-effect of this treatment which resulted in the permanent stop of this treatment. Few cases of exogenous ochronosis or ashy brown pigmentation have been seen after prolonged use of MBEH treatment. However, all these side-effects occur very rarely and only a few cases have been found around the world.

Application of monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone

Before starting the treatment, best clinics for white patches on the body always carry a tolerance test for MBEH. Under the tolerance test, the patient is given MBEH cream to apply daily for a week or two to apply in a small area such as inner upper arm or elbow. If no side effects experienced in this period, then patients are advised to proceed.

The MBEH creams are usually instructed to apply once daily for two weeks and then increase the daily application frequency. The creams should be applied around the pigmented area to lighten them. Such creams should not be applied on the eyelids or mucosal surfaces. Also, while under this treatment, the patients are advised to avoid sun exposure as that can cause repigmentation in the patches.

Usually, the treatment takes 1-4months to achieve desired results, but there are instances when vitiligo patients have to continue it for a longer period. However, the duration varies from patients to patients depending on various factors and their vitiligo patches.

It is always advised that if desired outcomes are not achieved within 4 months of use than this treatment should be discontinued. Once the cream has delivered the desired results, the patients need to use them intermittently as a maintenance routine. Usually, post-treatment applications are advised to do for twice a week, but it may vary for individual. Also, post-treatment, the patients need to apply SPF50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to avoid repigmentation and sunburn.

Why professional services matters?

Taking depigmentation therapy services from random clinic never deliver the desired results and also could cause serious side effects. In the best clinics for white patches on the body, professional dermatologists do the proper skin test before proceeding with the treatment which minimizes the chances of side-effects and assures the best outcome.

Benefits of Pixel Laser Facial

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Pixel laser facial or Pixel CO2 system is the proven way to get rid of age spots, wrinkles, acne scars and skin blemishes. It not only helps in rejuvenating the skin but also tightens the skin layers. Pixel laser facial uses the thermal energy pulses that create small micro-perforations in the skin. The perforations are done into target small area while keeping the surrounding area untouched. The laser source used in this treatment is of fractional ablative laser category. Although CO2 lasers are not very different from other fractional laser sources, yet the technology of use and its benefits makes it a lot different than others.

So, what are those benefits?

Delivers Immediate Results

The primary benefit of taking pixel laser facial is an immediate improvement in skin texture which can be visible instantly. In this treatment, the skins collagen production system is utilised which delivers immediate lasts for a longer time. Post the treatment, a bit of redness may appear but in the following days, the result will be clearly evident.

Improves Skin Texture and Tone

Pixel laser facial can improve multiple areas of the skin which makes it more favourable among other treatments. The micro-perforations created with this treatment method helps to signal the skin’s natural repair process to start and thus improves the overall texture of the skin. This treatment also helps to shrink the pore sizes as well. Even the untreated area around the micro-perforations acts as a reservoir and promote natural tissue healing giving the skin an improved even tone.

Improves Heavily Damaged Skin

Most of the non-invasive procedure skin rejuvenating are not very effective against heavily damaged skin. But pixel laser facial is the exception to mention as it is non-invasive yet offers very impressive results. It not only helps to remove skin spots & ageing spots but also eliminate extensive scars from surgeries or accidents. Reviews show that this is the best process to rectify the heavily photodamaged skin. Pixel laser facial not only removes scars & spots but also improves skin tone and texture within a few days.

Stimulates Collagen Production

Lack of collagen production is the primary reason behind many skin issues. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body that structures the skin. Hence, stimulating collagen production done in this treatment helps improve the skin immediately. Improving collagen production for a longer time helps the skin to have the best results for a longer time.

No Downtime Required

Being a non-invasive treatment, this requires very small downtime. It not only offers immediate results but also let you go back to your day after the session itself.

No one wants to look aged or have spots/marks on their skin. Yet, many times women can not go for various treatment due to busy schedule. Pixel laser facial requires less downtime and allows women to go back to work immediately which makes it more approachable over other skin resurfacing treatments.

Life of Vitiligo Patients | 6 True Stories

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People with vitiligo are often mistreated, looked down or shunned from society. Very few people understand that it’s a skin condition which is not fatal or contagious. People with vitiligo have to struggle mentally and emotionally more than physically. The way society treats people with vitiligo, it only worsens their condition and makes them withdraw from society.

Apart from the physical stress they feel, society’s behaviour towards them leaves a deep scar on their mind and many of them get into depression. Life becomes an everyday struggle for them, and people tend to hide from others. But there are some strong people who shared their story of struggle with everyone to lighten up society and raise the voice against the social stigma. These stories open our eyes that how crucial society can be towards physical outlook and how people with vitiligo feels like. Vitiligo is a never-ending journey, but our affectionate behaviour can make someone’s life easier.

Patients Stories

Amit Singh: encouraging life every day

While the society tries best to corner him, he encourages himself and always tries to make people understand that it’s just a different skin tone than others. This brave-hearted man knows how to face society with courage and takes only positive vibes. Am amazing story of inspiration for all of us!

Keya Anand: why I have to paint myself?

She is fighting vitiligo since her 5th grade and ever since society never missed a chance to make her feel low. Even her own parents used to tell her to cover herself and hide the white patches. Medicinal creams were given to paint her patches to look normal. Even after been through such a rough phase, the brave girl dared to share her story with us.

Rahat Khan: I want to Live!

In his turn of sharing his story, he managed to write at times he wants to end his life but in reality, he wants to live a normal life. Instead of writing a long story of sufferings, he only wrote that he is speechless and have no words to share his sufferings.

Shreya Gupta: who cares if you are judgemental.

The brave-hearted girl accepted her white patches with open arms and understand that its only a skin condition that requires a bit more expert care. While she lost all her friends due to these white patches, she made friends with them. Although society never missed to being judgmental, she believes in leaving a happy life. Such an inspiration and answer to social stigma!

Uditi Menon: are we really in the 21st century?

Once she was proud to have the white patches as she used to think that she is different. Well, this feeling lasted only for a while and the society reminded her that a girl with vitiligo is not a desirable one in the matrimonial market. Since her age of eight years, she has been facing such question like who will marry her which not only remind her but also questions if we are actually living in 21st century.

Rayna D’Souza: is an outlook that important?

She was bullied since her school age and had even rough college days. All because of her different skin tone which makes her question if the whole world is so cruel or if it’s only in India.

Can you relate to their stories? Which of them connects to you more? Do these stories help you to a bit more affectionate towards people with Vitiligo?

Vitiligo can be treated and, in some cases, can be cured too. But all they need is some empathy and acceptance from us to fight through the journey.

Cleanliness is a Bad Habit

Of late I have been seeing so many patients in our Dermatology OPD with hands which are dry, parched, itchy, irritated and have got cuts. Their history points out to a peculiar habit of washing their hands frequently and as I dig deep into the number of times their hands are subjected to scrubbing, soaps, hand washes, sanitizers, wet tissues etc.

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Ok, let me rephrase. Over cleanliness is a very BAD habit!

Of late I have been seeing so many patients in our Dermatology OPD with hands which are dry, parched, itchy, irritated and have got cuts. Their history points out to a peculiar habit of washing their hands frequently and as I dig deep into the number of times their hands are subjected to scrubbing, soaps, hand washes, sanitizers, wet tissues etc., it is mind-boggling. Most of these patients wash their hands at least 10-15 times a day, some sheepishly admit it to be 30 and sometimes the accompanying attendant will point it out to be even more!

Most of these patients are highly intelligent or shall I say too intelligent and are perfectionists, highly successful men, and women and somehow the cleanliness bug has bitten them. Even though they do understand the issue they somehow don’t and even on explaining the problem to them, they very reluctantly nod their heads in affirmation.

Now we all see beggars on the road, children running around bare feet, we see Rickshaw pullers, laborers and many more, but, how many times do they wash hands with all these fancy soaps & sanitizers? We all know the answer-hardly…Still, they maintain good health, may be better than what most of us do.

So the logic lies in the fact that God has given us a superb Defense System; what we Doctors have given a fancy name to, ‘Immune System. So we have to get EXPOSED so that our defense, our Army stays on its toes else it gets lethargic or worse, misdirected leading to the “problems of the clean”.

So, friends, cleanliness is good, over cleanliness is very bad, and the next time you want to reach out to that sanitizer bottle which for your information contains 66% alcohol, think twice. You really don’t need it, let your inner immune system take care of the small stuff and as I always quote have ‘Faith in the Lord’.

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