Understanding vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition that impacts patients at any age, of any gender, and of any ethnic group. This condition is often characterized by the loss of pigmentation of the skin. This pigmentation, known as “melanocytes,” are pigments in the skin that can die off, causing the skin to lose its natural color through the loss of melanin. When this happens, it not only impacts the color of the skin in large patches on the face and/or body, but it can also keep the skin from being protected by the sun’s harmful UV rays.

What causes vitiligo?

Research is still needed to determine the cause of vitiligo, though many doctors feel as though it is linked with a virus or autoimmune disorder. It is not contagious, and it can be diagnosed at any point in one’s life. It can come on gradually or quickly, and it may stay contained or spread. Getting a proper diagnosis is the first step in taking charge of the condition and improving one’s overall confidence and self-esteem when living with it. There is currently no cure for vitiligo, though research continues to find a solution.

How is vitiligo diagnosed?

A diagnosis of vitiligo occurs with a physical evaluation at The Menkes Clinic with our dermatologists. Patients can schedule an appointment at our practice to get a proper diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options.

How is vitiligo treated?

Vitiligo is a life-long skin condition without a cure. However, there are ways to help patients reduce the loss of color and cosmetically improve the area affected. Exposure to UVB or UVA lamps is a common treatment recommended by our team, which requires home treatment with daily use of a specialized lamp. Some patients find that using special cosmetics to match the skin tone and disguise the impacted areas is beneficial, especially for vitiligo that is present on the face. Our team may also recommend depigmentation, which is a treatment that lightens the skin on the affected areas of the body to match the areas that appear whiter. Patients with vitiligo should also protect their skin with sunscreen when outdoors, as these affected areas are more sensitive to sunlight and is not protected by melanin to protect from sun exposure.

Work with our providers today to get a proper diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatments

Vitiligo is a condition that can be addressed with the help of a dermatologist. The providers at The Menkes Clinic believe in providing patients with the solutions they need to feel more confident in their appearance. By contacting our practice at (650) 285-4661, new and current patients can schedule a consultation visit at our practice located in Mountainview, CA at 2490 Hospital Drive, Suite #201.

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