Vitiligo Awareness Month: The World Belongs to Them Too!

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Creating a world of harmony for people with Vitiligo needs a lot of effort & understanding from us. This non-contagious skin condition associates a lot of taboo, stigma and myths which many of us believe without having an understanding of the condition. In Indian society, skin colour is no doubt a big factor for social acceptance and in such a place, people with uneven skin tone often find themselves left out. This often leads to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and even depression in some cases for Vitiligo patients. Life is a gift and how we perceive it, shapes our world. The uneven patches often carry a love-hate relationship with the society and so with the patient’s life.

The world celebrates “VITILIGO AWARENESS MONTH” in June. The awareness this society needs is to understand this condition & accept Vitiligo patients. Almost 1-2% of the world’s total population is affected by this condition. Our skin gets its colour from a naturally occurring pigment – melanin which is produced by melanocytes. Vitiligo or white patches occur when these melanocytes start dying due to unknown reasons. Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder and that can have a significantly negative social and/or psychological impact on patients, in part because of numerous misconceptions that are present in large parts of the world. People of any skin type can get affected by this condition, but the patches are more noticeable on dark-skinned people. The condition is not life threatening and can be managed with modern treatments and therapies. The first signs of Vitiligo usually appear before 30s. Unfortunately, Vitiligo has no cure but there are a lot of treatment that patients can go for.

Here are some tips given by Dr. Munish Paul to help Vitiligo patients.

  1. Sun exposure: Excessive exposure to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin, especially for a Vitiligo patient. Vitiligo skin is more vulnerable to get burned easily. Hence, Vitiligo patients are always recommended to avoid sunlight or use sunscreen while going out. Water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or over are recommended which need to be reapplied every 2-3 hours. Protective clothing like sunglasses, covered clothing and hats are also recommended to avoid sun-exposure.
  2. People with Vitiligo always need to be extra careful with their skin. Skin trauma such as scrapes, cuts or burns may develop new patches and helps to widespread the condition. However, you may not stop accidents but do your best to avoid any kind of skin injury.
  3. Tattooing the patches is never a solution. Because tattoos are done by wounding the skin and causes trauma for the skin which may result in development of new patches within a few weeks.
  4. Like any health condition, Vitiligo can be best handled by leading a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle helps support the immune system. Eat a balanced, nutritional diet and work to reduce stress level. Stress leads to the occurrence of new Vitiligo patches and hence it is best to avoid it. Try meditation, yoga, etc., to minimise stress levels because mental health is an important factor for Vitiligo patients.
  5. Camouflage is the best way to cover the Vitiligo patches and always recommended for children too. Camouflage treatment helps to cover the Vitiligo patches with some concealing cream or makeup giving a unified skin tone. Such concealing creams stay on the skin for longer hours even days. Microskin is one such camouflage cream which stays on the skin for several days and also is water-resistant. This product is safe for children also.

Nowadays, with the advent of technology, Vitiligo has many treatment options like light therapy & surgical treatments. But it is always important to consult a certified dermatologist as soon as the first patch of Vitiligo appears. Early treatment Vitiligo helps to minimise the widespread.

Lastly, it is crucial for people with Vitiligo to not be undermined, discouraged or feel low and it is everyone’s responsibility to make an effort to understand the condition and create a discrimination-free world for them.

Dr. Paul’s Skin At Laser Centre, Vitiligo treatment is performed under the supervision of certified MD Dermatologists after an open discussion about the procedure, results, and possible effects of the treatment. Call today at 9803 029 029 to know more!

Vitiligo Treatment: Light Therapy & Surgery

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Vitiligo is a skin condition characterised by white milky uneven patches. These patches can be treated to even tone the skin. The choice of Vitiligo treatment depends on various factors such as patient’s age, percentage of widespread, the progression of the disease and how Vitiligo is affecting one’s life.

Light-based therapies are done to help restore the lost skin colour or to give a unified skin tone. Some people may also experience some side-effects and hence a skin specialist may recommend some self-tanning products before taking you through the treatment process.

Whatever the treatment process your skin specialist recommends, it will take a few weeks or even months to deliver the expected results. Also, be prepared to go for a combination of therapies where the doctor may prescribe more than one therapy to get the desired results through a best suitable treatment for your skin. Moreover, the doctor may prescribe some maintenance therapy to prevent relapse.

Light-based therapies

  • Phototherapy: Phototherapy performed with narrowband ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) has proven to stop or at least slow the disease progression. If used with corticosteroids inhibitors, the therapy works even more effectively. This therapy usually requires two-three sessions per week for two-three months to make a significant difference. Possible side effects of phototherapy include redness, itching or inflammation. However, these side effects usually go away within a few hours of the treatment.
  • Targeted Phototherapy: Also called as concentrated phototherapy, it is performed to delivers ultraviolet radiation on a targeted spot. This phototherapy is targeted on the skin lesion using special delivery mechanisms for treatment.
  • Depigmentation: This therapy is performed to remove the remaining pigment in Vitiligo affected person’s body. It is only recommended for patients with 50% or more widespread Vitiligo. To perform this therapy, the doctor will recommend applying depigmentation agent on the unaffected areas of the skin which will gradually lighten the skin tone to match with the Vitiligo affected areas. The therapy is usually given once or twice a week for a few months. It’s a permanent therapy and cannot be undone afterwards. This therapy does not cause any major side-effects. Minor side effects such as redness, itching, swelling or dryness may occur.

Surgical treatment for Vitiligo

Surgery is recommended when light therapy or other medications do not work to stabilise the condition. This treatment is also recommended for people with stable Vitiligo disease. Surgical techniques used to even out skin tone can be of different types.

  • Skin grafting: This procedure is performed by transferring very small segments of healthy, pigmented skin to the discoloured areas. This procedure is usually recommended for patients with small patches of Vitiligo.
  • Blister grafting: To perform this procedure, the doctor creates blister on the pigmented skin using suction and then transplants the blister tops on the discoloured patches.
  • Cellular suspension transplant: To perform this procedure, the doctor will take some tissue from the pigmented skin and will transfer them to a solution before transplanting them in the affected area. The results usually start showing up within four weeks from the procedure. These procedures may involve small risks of infection, scarring, spotty colour and failure to re-pigment the areas.

At Dr. Paul’s Skin Laser Centre, Vitiligo treatment is performed under the supervision of certified MD Dermatologists after an open discussion about the procedure, results, and possible effects of the treatment. Call today at 9803 029 029 to know more! 

Vitiligo Laser Treatment: Why One Should Go for It

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Vitiligo, an autoimmune condition specifically marked by the white patches that appears on the skin. The reason behind this condition is still unknown but vitiligo treatment clinic describes that autoimmune cells suddenly starts killing the healthy pigment cells which results into vitiligo patches. Though vitiligo laser treatment has come as a bliss for many, yet the white patches makes life harder for the patients. It can happen with both children and adults and even can be congenital problem too. skin gets the color from melanin cells and losing them means skin loses color. More pigment cells mean darker skin tone and less pigment cells means lighter skin tone while no pigment in certain areas means uneven skin tone. Losing pigment at certain spots in an uneven manner means vitiligo spots arises. The vitiligo treatment clinic offers best technology such as vitiligo laser treatment which helps to treat the spots.

Around 2% of the world population is estimated to fighting with vitiligo and found in both adults and children. Even, gender is not an aspect to get this condition and one can get the starting sign at any age. Although, it tends to appear between 20-30 years age but not stays limited to that. People over these ages can also get this condition. People with family history of vitiligo are more likely to get these patches. Even it has been seen that people with vitiligo often have some other autoimmune diseases too such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or type 1 diabetes. This is why, before giving vitiligo treatment in Delhi specialists check for symptoms related to these conditions.

Types of vitiligo:

Segmental Vitiligo – only 10% of the cases are found to be of this sort of vitiligo where patches appear only in certain areas of the body.

No segmental Vitiligo – most vitiligo patients get this type of vitiligo where patches appear all over the body even in the genital areas.

Vitiligo patches often appears on the sun exposed areas of the body such as face, neck and hands. The patches are always pale white and can be small or big. Vitiligo can be treated to slow the widespread and some treatment helps to get the melanin back into skin. However, there is no complete cure exists for vitiligo, but the discoloured skin can be restored back to normal color. Vitiligo laser treatment is one such treatment offered by vitiligo treatment clinic that helps restores the discoloured skin. In vitiligo laser treatment, UV or PUVA or low bandwidth UVB lasers are used to eliminate the patches.

Vitiligo Laser Treatment

At various vitiligo treatment clinic, they offer best treatment to manage the spots and affected patchy and discoloured skin. Vitiligo laser treatment can be used in two ways. In case of smaller patches, or if the patient has few patches over the body only then the laser rays are thrown on that specific area where the skin need to go under regimentation process. But in most of the cases, the patches are widespread, and, in that case, the patient are made to enter in a light chamber and the whole body gets throw the laser beam. Light chamber vitiligo laser treatment process involves laser imposition on the whole body to give a re-pigmentation treatment.

De-pigmentation, in certain vitiligo treatment clinic in Delhi, offer treatment under supervision of best doctors who are best skilled at treating the vitiligo spots. The treatment involves fading the surrounding skin on the body, or face, to match with the white patches or white spots. Depigmentation therapy is the best treatment option for white spots disease if vitiligo or white spots disease on more than 50 percent of a patient’s body.

In this procedure, the monobenzone drug is applied twice a day to the pigmentation areas of the skin, including face, hands and feet, until they match the areas without pigmentation. Some patients, who are resistant to depigmentation with clinic drug monobenzone will need Q Switch NDYAG Laser, available in approved clinics, skin centers or hospitals, to destroy the cells with pigmentation caused by vitiligo giving patients the best possible results by doctors in Delhi.

Sometimes vitiligo treatment clinic prescribe treatment which is a combination of an ointment with the vitiligo laser treatment. For few cases, such treatment is required which is decided by the surgeons. Patients may need several sessions for the laser therapy and may require to be reaped twice in a week to receive the best results.

Cost of Vitiligo Laser Treatment

Many people give a wonder eyes when they hear about vitiligo laser treatment. People think that it is a costly treatment but nowadays many vitiligo treatment clinics offer an affordable treatment. They design a treatment package for vitiligo laser treatment that are quite affordable for the common man, they understand that people might need to go for several sessions and thus tailoring the prices will help them retain maximum number of patients.

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.

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.

Social Pressure on Vitiligo Patients | Fight it With Microskin

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Vitiligo is a common skin condition related to the discoloration of skin in patches which spreads on the outer skin of the body.  Vitiligo patients in India often face a cruel social pressure which they do not deserve for sure. In India, many people also call this disease a result of the wrongdoings in their past lives and patients are blamed for their lesions. This undue pressure causes psychological stress on the patients and with time many patients go under depression too. A harmless disease like Vitiligo becomes a serious cause of concern due to social stigma and the many cosmetic reasons & expectations attached to it. However, there are ways to conceal Vitiligo patches which can help avoid social pressure and make better first impressions.Social Pressure on Vitiligo Patients

Microskin To Conceal Vitiligo Patches

Microskin is the new revolutionary cosmetic skin correction formula that covers up vitiligo patches and corrects skin discoloration. This light semi-liquid foundation-like application is put on the outer skin to hide the depigmented circles. The main difference between Microskin and other cosmetic camouflage treatment is, it does not rub off easily on clothing and stays longer on the skin. It is also water-proof & smudge-proof. Unlike other cosmetic applications, it allows the skin to breathe and suits almost everyone.

The vitiligo surgeon custom prepares this cream to match an individual patient’s skin color, with maximum precision. Microskin can be applied through a stipple or airbrush, as suggested by the doctor. Depending on skin types and a particular part of the body, Microskin stays on the skin for several days and a slight touch up can give an even longer lasting result. This liquidized skin-color corrector does not give any makeup effect but makes the affected skin look more natural.

Microskin is the best solution for the social pressure that vitiligo patients face every day. Be it a party or interview or any social gathering, Microskin helps in creating a normal-like first impression for them. Once applied, Microskin stays on the skin for several days and does not wash off. It’s a layer of cream that sticks to the skin allowing it to breathe and fade away gradually with time. This is what makes it different from normal foundation cream. Its easy self-application makes it preferable for daily wear or for such events as patients can apply the cream by themselves.

Dr. Munish Paul, Dermatologist & Vitiligo Surgeon, recommends Microskin due to its safe and easy application. The vitiligo surgeons/Dermatologists prepare the right shade matching the real skin tone for individual patients. Patients can bring home the application and apply by themselves on the depigmented area to cover the white patches. The application can be done through a spray or sponge rub. Microskin not only hides white patches but also helps patients to stand confidently in society with an even tone skin.

Melanocyte Cell Transplantation or MCT as Vitiligo Treatment

This surgical approach is now being considered as “may be a cure”. Unfortunately, science is still not able to find a permanent cure for this condition but there are many cases where Melanocyte Cell Transplantation (MCT) Melanocyte Keratinocyte Transplant Procedure (MKTP) as Vitiligo Treatment has made wonders.

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The new approach to treat vitiligo is cellular grafting. This surgical approach is now being considered as “may be a cure”. Unfortunately, science is still not able to find a permanent cure for this condition but there are many cases where Melanocyte Cell Transplantation (MCT) Melanocyte Keratinocyte Transplant Procedure (MKTP) as Vitiligo Treatment has made wonders. The idea of MCT is to remove the top layer of pigmented skin and replace it with healthy pigment cells (melanocytes) taken from another part of the body. Within a few months, the transplanted melanocytes start making pigment and deposit it to the surrounding areas. The success of this treatment wipes away the white spots and, in many cases, it has worked like magic. Patients with successful results don’t need any standard vitiligo treatments after that. However, not everyone is the right candidate for this Treatment of Vitiligo.

A Deep Insight into Melanocyte Cell Transplantation:

Vitiligo or white spots start appearing on the skin when immune cells sneak into the skin to find melanocytes and kill them. Melanocytes are the cells that produce pigment in our skin. So killing melanocytes stops the pigment production process and skin starts to lose its color.

In this Melanocyte Cell Transplantation (MCT) treatment, new melanocytes are transferred to the affected area. But, the immune cells active in that area kill the new melanocytes too which drives failure of this Vitiligo Treatment. This treatment shows higher success rate only if the disease is stable where the immune cells are quiet and no longer destroying the melanocytes. In such condition, the new melanocytes start working and bring the original skin color back. Now, the problem is, it is very difficult to know when the disease is stable. In common practice, the Dermatologist carries out this treatment only if the patient has no lesions from last 1-2 years.

This Vitiligo Treatment appears to be excellent for, segmental vitiligo patients. As in the segmental vitiligo, the disease is limited to one portion of the body, chances of success rates appear to be higher. 80-90% of such cases have seen success and may never require further vitiligo treatment. That’s the reason why this treatment is addressed as “may be a cure” which is normally never used for any other vitiligo treatment.

In Cellular grafting or Melanocyte Cell Transplantation (MCT), the top layer of the affected area’s skin is removed and melanocytes & other skin cells from normal skin is transplanted into that area. Among all other Vitiligo Treatment procedures, cellular grafting has appeared to be the most successful one until now. In medical terms, this process is also called as Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Transplant Procedure or MKTP.

But, I know only a few centers around the world that offer this treatment. This was the biggest reason I have started offering this treatment into my own SKIN LASER CENTRE. Here, we not only offer treatment but also provide post-treatment care to ensure the complete success of this process. This procedure requires special equipment and professional training. At our center, we have experienced excellent success rate for MKTP so far. As per my opinion and experience, it is the best Vitiligo Treatment for right patients, whom we decide after a careful series of examination. This procedure is a bit costly than others and thus I suggest the treatment only to the patients who fulfill the prerequisite health conditions.

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