Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that affects the pigment of the skin and parts of the hair. This causes the affected areas to become lighter in color. It has even been found to affect the inside of the mouth and the eyes. The condition is not dangerous or contagious but can be hard to live with. Often, many people get low self-esteem as a result of vitiligo. Vitiligo often occurs at a young age and continues for the rest of your life. It has been found to affect all genders, races, and ethnicities. At Essential Dermatology, we can work with you to find a treatment that will help you feel confident and beautiful in your skin.

What Causes Vitiligo?

Researchers are not completely sure what causes vitiligo. It happens when the melanocytes in the skin die off. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin which cause pigment, making your skin color. When the cells die, the pigment goes away. It is believed that this loss of pigment may be connected to an autoimmune disorder which causes the body to attack the cells. Some also believe that there is a connection between thyroid disease and vitiligo. It has also been shown to be congenital, if you have a family member with it then you are more likely to develop this condition.  

Symptoms of Vitiligo

  • Blotchy, white patches of skin
  • Loss of color in the hair
  • Loss of color in the eye
  • Itchiness or pain
  • Photosensitivity
  • Tendency to sunburn

Treatments for Vitiligo?

For patients who wish to treat their vitiligo, Dr. Krathen has many different options. Treatment methods will be chosen depending on your cosmetic goals as well as your preference for long-term versus short-term solutions. For temporary solutions, there are many cosmetics that can be used such as makeup, self-tanners, and dyes. If you wish for a long-term solution, there are various medications and laser treatments that can help to restore the pigment. Discuss your treatment options and concerns with Dr. Krathen during a one-on-one consultation at Essential Dermatology. If you experience any pain or discomfort, Dr. Krathen can prescribe some medication to mitigate this.

Schedule a Consultation

There is no way to prevent vitiligo from occurring, but you can get treatment to help prevent it from worsening. If you would like to find an option that helps manage your symptoms, then come talk to Dr. Krathen at Essential Dermatology. Call our office at (508) 827-2615  or request a consultation by filling out our online form. To book an appointment, schedule your visit as a new patient using our online scheduler or as an existing patient using the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway.

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