Vitiligo, “Safed dagh” is a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin. It occurs when the cells responsible for skin pigmentation that is melanocytes, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic or oxidative stress etc.
The goal of treatment is to improve the appearance of skin lesions. Depending upon the size, number and location of white patches, an individualized treatment plan (medical, surgical and adjunctive therapies) can be tailor made for the patient.
The exact reason why vitiligo occurs is still unknown but many researches have shown that the following factors can be considered as a reason for its occurrence:
- Autoimmune disorder which means the patient’s immune system becomes overactive and destroys the melanocytes.
- Can be because of some viral cause.
- Heredity or genetic disorder.
- Exposure to some harmful chemical.
- A neural disorder.
Grafting procedures in vitiligo have become quite popular over the last one or two decades especially in India. Starting with the simplest punch grafting we have now a multitude of different grafting techniques available in vitiligo.
Blister grafting (SBG) is a procedure wherein epidermis is harvested from the donor site ie the thigh in the form of suction blister and then transferred to the dermabraded vitiliginous area(White Patches).
Micropigmentation is a technique in which minute, metabolically inert pigment granules are implanted below the epidermis for cosmetic and/or corrective enhancement. Typically two to four treatments are necessary.
The excimer laser (308 nanometer wavelength) is used with this therapy, and only the areas of skin affected by vitiligo receive the laser energy. The duration oftreatment is two to six months, and the average rate of improvement is 70 percent.
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