What Really Works for Vitiligo?

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Vitiligo is a disease with unknown cause that causes patches of different color on the skin. An autoimmune process directed against the melanocytes (the cells that make the skin pigment or color) results in patches of skin with less pigment than usual. Vitiligo usually peaks in your 20s or 30s, and it can be associated with other autoimmune diseases. As you can imagine, it can be devastating for folks who are affected.

Well, what can we do about it? And isn’t there anything new? Let’s look at the most recent evidence of successful therapies for repigmentation and cessation of spread.

Topical steroids are the best option for people whose vitiligo doesn’t involve the face.

What about other creams that aren’t steroids?

Oral steroids (steroids taken as a pill) are the next step if your vitiligo continues to get worse despite using the topical meds.

So UV light is also used for repigmentation therapy (returning color to your skin)?

What about other combinations of medications + UV light?

What about lasers?

Are there any other alternative therapies?

Dr O.

Drugs featured in this story

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