Advanced Treatment Options for Vitiligo in the San Diego Area
Dr. Melanie Palm is a nationally recognized dermatologist and an expert in the treatment of vitiligo and other medical and cosmetic skin conditions. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition characterized by light (white) patches of skin devoid of pigment. Vitiligo most commonly occurs around the mouth, eyes, genital area, hands, feet, elbows and knees. New patches of vitiligo may occur in areas where skin gets scratched or traumatized. This process of vitiligo occurring in areas of prior skin trauma is referred to as koebnerization.
What Causes Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is the result of the progressive self-destruction of melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells that give color to skin, hair and eyes. It can be triggered by several different factors including:
- Certain auto-immune disorders (e.g. thyroid disease, type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes, some types of anemia, and inflammatory bowel disease)
- Trauma to the skin due to a severe sunburn, cut, or other injury
Can Vitiligo Be Cured? What Are My Treatment Options?
There is no known cure for vitiligo but there are several treatment options available that can stop the spread of vitiligo’s characteristic white patches and restore pigment to the affected areas to some degree.
Vitiligo treatment options include:
- Topical prescription medications
- Light therapy
- Excimer laser therapy
For patients with severe vitiligo, where a significant amount of the skin’s surface is affected, depigmentation therapy may be an option. Depigmentation therapy uses a topical medication containing 20% monobenzylether of hydroquinone. Applied topically to the unaffected areas of the skin over time, it gradually lightens the skin so that it blends in with the affected areas.
If you are in the San Diego area and looking for an experienced dermatologist to treat your vitiligo, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment to discuss your treatment options.