Pigmentary Disorders result from excessive or reduced/absent pigment. It can be caused by inflammation, medication, hormonal fluctuations and UV exposure.
SunscreensAreas of vitiligo will burn easily in the sun. The use of a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to all exposed areas helps to protect skin affected by vitiligo.
Topical corticosteroidsThe application of a potent or very potent corticosteroid anti-inflammatory cream or ointment to areas of vitiligo may restore some pigment. Side effects, such as thinning of the skin and stretch marks, are a risk with continued use. Short courses of oral steroids can sometimes be considered but may be associated with side effects such as weight gain, skin thinning, mood changes and cataracts.
Other topical preparationsOther types of anti-inflammatory creams and ointments, such as calcineurin inhibitors and vitamin D analogues, may also restore pigment in some patients. These topical treatments will help avoid the corticosteroid side effect of skin thinning.
PhototherapyThis involves exposing affected skin to artificial ultraviolet light. Phototherapy may be helpful in a proportion of patients with vitiligo. However, treatment often needs to be prolonged (lasting at least several months). Phototherapy may be used in combination with topical or oral corticosteroid treatments.
Laser treatmentSome areas of vitiligo have improved from treatment with a laser called the Excimer laser. Laser treatment can be used in combination with topical treatments.