Psoriasis and Vitiligo Treatment
Vitiligo is a disorder that destroys melanocytes, (pigment producing cells), which causes white or depigmented patches on the skin. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but genetic research is being done to learn what is destroying these cells and stopping them from producing melanin, or color to the skin. Until research helps find a cure that will stop the skin from losing color, the treatment goal for most is to try to restore pigment to the skin. There are patients who choose to not treat vitiligo at all, and very rarely there are a few who choose to try to depigment their skin entirely so that it removes all remaining pigment to the skin.
There are many treatment options available to repigment the skin. At Gardner Dermatology, we look at various factors to help you determine the best treatment plan. Your age, medical history, condition of the skin, where vitiligo appears on the body and preference are some of the things that play a role in choosing a treatment plan that is right for you. With vitiligo treatment, it is also important to keep in mind that it is possible for color to return slowly or not at all in some areas. Each person reacts to treatment differently and it is possible that it may not work at all in some cases. It is not possible to predict how a patient will respond to treatment. It is important to keep in mind that no one treatment works for everyone. Results can vary from one part of the body to another. There are times when combining two or more treatments delivers a better result.
If you have vitiligo and would like more information on treatment options, call Gardner Dermatology to schedule an appointment. We can discuss the different types of treatments and help you decide which seems right for you.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. affecting over 7.5 million Americans. This chronic skin condition rapidly produces skin cells because the immune system faultily signals it too. This causes red, scaly itchy patches to appear on the skin. Psoriasis is associated with other health problems such as diabetes, depression and heart disease.
There are 5 types of psoriasis with the most common being plaque psoriasis or psoriasis vulgaris. Plaque psoriasis is usually characterized by red, raised patches with a silvery scale on the elbows, knees, scalp or lower back. Psoriasis can show up anywhere on the body and depending on the type of psoriasis, can also cover the entire body. Treatment options depend on where the symptoms show on the body.
Researchers believe there is a genetic factor involved as to why people develop psoriasis. Once a person with certain predisposed genes for developing psoriasis is exposed to specific triggers, researchers believe the psoriasis symptoms can begin.
Some of the triggers of psoriasis that have already been established include:
- Injury to the skin (vaccinations, sunburns, scratches)
- Medications (lithium, antimalarials, inderal, quinidine, indomethacin)
Avoiding triggers can help to avoid flares or symptoms of psoriasis from worsening. Psoriasis affects each person who has it differently. Some people have very mild symptoms that are easily kept under control and others have severe symptoms that are difficult to treat.
Treatment options may include:
- Topical treatments
- Systemic medications
- Photo or light therapy (XTRAC Laser - can also treat Vitiligo)
If you have psoriasis or symptoms of psoriasis and need to see a dermatologist, call Gardner Dermatology. We can discuss treatment options, how to avoid triggers and flares and how to stay the healthiest you can while managing your condition.
Disclaimer: Individual results may vary from patient to patient and there is no guarantee of specific results.