Types of Treatments

If you live in Kenya, at the moment, I would say that this form of treatment is the most accessible and most effect form of treatment for vitiligo covering more than 20% of the body. Narrowband UVB (NB) has been determined to help stimulate pigment cells to produce melanocytes. Any kind of light therapy has a suppressive effect on the immune system, so it can possibly stop new areas from forming as well.
NB is sometimes used in combination with other topical treatments, but is effective for many on its own. NB can be used on children old enough to stand still and keep goggles on. Results are often seen beginning between 30 and 60 treatments, and treatment is usually given 2 times a week.

This treatment is available at the Kenyatta Hospital currently being offered at an affordable rate (about 300/= per session). Many vitiligo patients in Kenya are not aware that this option is at their disposal. Those who have tried this treatment will attest to its effectiveness. The below pictures are by only using this treatment (and diet).

Topical steroid therapy. Steroid creams may be helpful in repigmenting white patches, particularly if they are applied in the initial stages of the disease.

Oral psoralen photo-chemotherapy. Used for people with extensive vitiligo (affecting more than 20 percent of the body) or for people who do not respond to topical PUVA therapy. Oral psoralen is not recommended for children under 10 years of age because it increases the risk of damage to the eyes caused by conditions such as cataracts. For oral PUVA therapy, you take a prescribed dose of psoralen by mouth about 2 hours before exposure to artificial UVA light or sunlight. If artificial light is used, the doctor adjusts the dose of light until the skin in the areas being treated becomes pink.

Treatments are usually given two or three times a week, but never 2 days in a row. For patients who cannot go to a facility to receive PUVA therapy, the doctor may prescribe psoralen that can be used with natural sunlight exposure.
Studies have shown that people with vitiligo are often deficient in certain vitamins, like folic acid, B12, copper and zinc. These, along with others like CoQ10, vitamin E, sometimes vitamin C and a high-quality multi-vitamin are prescribed by some doctors to help stabilize the immune system. Vitamins/supplements are generally used in combination with other treatments. Some studies have shown that folic acid, B-12, and sun exposure can help re-pigment the skin when used together. Please consult your doctor for the appropriate dosages.

NOTE: It is recommended that Vitamin B-12 and Folic acid be taken together These 2 nutrients are addressed together because when supplementing one, the other should also be supplemented. If there is a B12 deficiency & only folic acid is taken, it can mask some of the blood changes & clues that a B12 deficiency exists. Such masking can allow progressive & irreversible damage to take place in the brain, spinal column, & peripheral nerves. Further, folic acid must be present for the proper use of B12.

Some patients with vitiligo cover depigmented patches with stains, makeup, or self-tanning lotions. These cosmetic products can be particularly effective for people whose vitiligo is limited to exposed areas of the body. Many cosmetic companies offer makeup or dyes that you may find helpful for covering up depigmented patches.
There have been some nutritional suppliments that have been found to be beneficial to vitiligo patients. Other than the B12 and folic acid we have already mentioned, the rest of the B vitamins have also proved to be beneficial. Vitamin D, AloeVera, Gingko Bilboa and foods/suppliments rich in antioxidants have also proven to be helpful

Useful Information

People with vitiligo should always protect their skin against excessive sun exposure by wearing protective clothing, staying out of the sun at peak periods (except during doctor-approved treatment times), and applying sunscreen lotions and creams. Treatments can also dehydrate the body, so in combination with sunscreens with hydration properties to the skin, always hydrate by drinking water

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