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Treatments

  • Is there any treatment for vitiligo?

    Yes. Treatments can be provided by the NHS. They can be very effective in bringing back colour to the white skin patches, or at least slowing down the progress of vitiligo. Generally treatments are most effective when the vitiligo has started recently, but their effects vary from one person to another. The main available treatments are:

    • Creams, which can be prescribed by your doctor, which are used for up to 2 months or longer under close supervision.
    • Light treatment, for which you would have to go to hospital 2 or 3 times a week. This is sometimes given with medication as well.

    More information about treatments is available HERE

  • Is vitiligo harder to treat the longer you have had it?

    Generally this seems to be the case. Research indicates that using treatments when vitiligo first develops is more effective than later on. However, individuals respond differently to treatment and there are other factors involved:

    • Small areas are easier to treat than larger ones.
    • Treating vitiligo on the face seems to be particularly effective.
    • Children are more likely to be responsive to treatment.

    It is worthwhile treating any patch of vitiligo, however long you have had it, because even very long standing patches may improve.

  • I have heard that some people have been cured of vitiligo. Is this true?

     

    There is, at present, no 100% cure. Established treatments can be effective in re-pigmenting the skin, sometimes completely. However, at present, there are no treatments that can prevent vitiligo developing again. It is rare for the condition to go completely.

     

    In some cases, the white patches can regain their colour without the person having any treatment. This is more likely with children.

  • Can re-pigmentation occur spontaneously?

    Yes. It is not uncommon for patches of vitiligo to spontaneously re-pigment, especially in children. However, total spontaneous re-pigmentation is rare.

  • Can vitamins help with re-pigmentation?

    The answer seems to be possibly, but researchers looking into the connection between diet and vitiligo have not yet reached definite conclusions.

    We do know that vitamins and other nutrients are involved in pigmentation and maintaining healthy skin, the following in particular:

    • Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin / Beta Carotene
    • Minerals copper, iron and zinc

    Evidence suggests that low levels of vitamin B12 could be a factor in vitiligo for a few people. This is because there seems to be some association between vitiligo and pernicious anaemia, a condition in which people are deficient in vitamin B12. Also, some research has shown that the outcome of some treatments may be improved with the addition of certain vitamins.

     

    Although changing the food you eat is not likely to cure your vitiligo, this may well help if you are not eating a healthy, varied, balanced diet at the moment.

     

    More information on nutrition is available HERE

  • Do carrots and ‘orange’ foods help vitiligo?

    Carrots and 'orange' foods, like many other fruit and vegetables, are antioxidants. This means that they help to maintain the body's immune system by controlling destructive agents (called free radicals) that occur naturally. As part of a balanced diet, they help to keep the skin healthy.

     

    If you eat large quantities of 'orange' foods, they can give your skin an orange / yellow tint because they contain beta carotene. This will not last unless you continue to eat at them at the same level, which is not good for your health. Beta carotene is stored in the body; too much of it can be toxic and make you ill.

     

    More information on nutrition is available HERE

  • I am unhappy about my doctor’s advice. What should I do?

    It is very important to have confidence in your doctor. If you are concerned that you have not been given sound advice, or you feel that your doctor has not listened to your concerns, you should do something about it.

    Depending on the circumstances, your options are:

    1. Go back to your doctor to discuss your concerns further.
    2. Ask for a second opinion from a doctor in the same GP practice.
    3. Seek advice from outside your GP practice.
    4. As a last resort register with another practice.

    For more information about these options Click Here