How Can Laser Treatment Help Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is the medical term for a skin condition that causes patchy loss of skin color. The condition can make skin, hair, and even eyes lose their color. Pigment loss occurs when the pigment-producing cells within your body stop working properly.

People with vitiligo can experience the condition in different ways. Some people may have small depigmented patches that remain unchanged for decades, while others may experience rapid pigment loss across larger areas of skin.

Vitiligo isn’t life-threatening or contagious, but it can have a significant impact on your life. If your confidence and self-esteem are inhibited by vitiligo, it’s time to learn about your treatment options.

Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry offer the latest in vitiligo treatment options, with the goal of stopping pigment loss and restoring color to affected areas of skin.

Laser treatment for vitiligo

Vitiligo is largely a medical mystery. Experts think it may be caused by genetics, autoimmune issues, skin trauma, or a combination. Because the causes aren’t well-understood, there’s no one-size-fits-all cure for vitiligo.

Laser treatment offers options to people who are bothered by their appearance due to vitiligo. Dr. Mikell offers vitiligo treatment with the XTRAC® laser system, a therapy designed to stimulate healthy skin cell growth.

With XTRAC laser therapy, Dr. Mikell directs concentrated ultraviolet B (UVB) light at affected areas of skin. The light triggers skin to produce more melanin, the element in skin that gives it pigment. Laser treatment focuses only on affected areas, so patches of healthy skin aren’t disrupted. 

Over the course of treatment, it’s possible to regain natural skin coloration in the treatment areas. The duration of your treatment plan will depend on the extent of your vitiligo.

Living with vitiligo

It’s important to remember that there’s no harm in leaving vitiligo untreated. Results of laser therapy and other treatments can vary in success, so if you’re not bothered by the condition, then you don’t need to seek treatment. 

Protecting your skin from the sun and artificial UV light is important for everyone, but especially for people with vitiligo. Areas of skin that don’t have pigment are at a higher risk for sunburn, and getting a tan on unaffected skin may accentuate the differences in skin tone.

Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and reapply regularly. Furthermore, wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and seek shade during the sunniest times of day.

If you have small patches of vitiligo, you may be able to conceal them with self-tanning products or makeup. But if you want to see if laser therapy can help you, Dr. Mikell will evaluate you and go over your treatment options.

Our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry is committed to helping you love your skin. To learn more about treatment options for vitiligo, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.

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