8 Treatment Options for Vitiligo

4. Depigmentation

One of the more radical treatments for vitiligo, otherwise known as de-colorization of the skin, is to actually focus on removing the original color that remains on the body. In a way, it’s an acknowledgment that the condition is not going to be easily reversed, which is why this strategy is often reserved for those with extensive vitiligo that has proven resilient in the face of other treatment options.

Those who pursue depigmentation treatment for vitiligo will have a special depigmenting agent applied to all areas of the skin not visibly affected by the condition. In time, this therapy, which is performed daily for up to a year, will lighten the skin to match those areas discolored by vitiligo. Unfortunately, there are side effects to this permanent solution, including significant sensitivity to sunlight.

5. Skin grafting

Generally speaking, surgery should always be the last option and treating vitiligo is no different. In most cases, surgery is only resorted to if other treatment options — from medications to light therapy — have proven mostly fruitless in an effort to return affected skin to its original color.

The most popular surgical strategy involves skin grafting, or removing skin from unaffected areas of the body and attaching it to those body parts visibly affected by vitiligo. This strategy is most effective when the patient has mild or moderate vitiligo and may not be possible for those with more extensive cases of the disease. There are also side effects to consider, from scarring, permanently rough skin, or the development of an odd skin color.

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