If you find yourself or your loved ones afflicted with vitiligo or leucoderma, a skin condition where there is depigmentation and whitening of the skin, you might want to consider an invasive and less expensive treatment for this disease. There are two options – use a medicated vitiligo cream to treat it and second, use various creams and lotions to camouflage the affected skin area.
Using a vitiligo cream is perhaps the quickest and easiest solution to cure and treat vitiligo. Since the creams are readily available in drug stores and from your doctors, you will just be given the schedule of when to apply it and the duration. The treatment for vitiligo is very long that it usually runs from 6 to 18 months. While in the process, it is also a trial and error experience as you will still have to find the best treatment and cream best suited for you.
There are so many suggested creams for vitiligo. Here are some of them:
When you see a small white patch in your skin and it has been diagnosed as vitiligo, this is the first cream that will be given to you. You will need to apply this for an initial of 4-6 weeks. It can help prevent that small white patch from getting bigger and the skin colour may return in a matter of time.
Steroids work by partly suppressing the immune system. However, the side effects of long-term use will include thinning of the skin and stretch marks that is why it is not recommend to be used on the face.
2. Tacrolimus cream
Tacrolimus cream works to suppress the cells of the immune system of the skin. That is why this is an alternative cream for steroids. This is more advisable to be used on the face and on the skin of children. Studies show that it really helps restore skin colour on some people with vitiligo.
3. Topical corticosteroid therapy.
Corticosteroids has been found out to help return colour to your skin (repigmentation) especially if it is applied early. The treatment usually lasts for 3 months.
Children will usually be given a milder topical corticosteroid cream or ointment. This treatment is easy and effective but a doctor needs to monitor you closely for side effects such as thinning of the skin (atrophy) and streaks or lines on your skin (skin striae).
Calcipotrience or Dovonex, a vitamin D derivative is also used topically. This is sometimes used with corticosteroids or ultraviolet light.
5. Topical immunomodulators.
If it is the face and the neck area that are already affected with vitiligo, the topical ointments containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus are recommended. This is effective for people with small areas of depigmentation
This treatment may have fewer side effects than corticosteroids and can be used in combination with ultraviolet B (UVB) treatments. This cream is still subject to a lot of research and studies as it has been linked to the development of lymphoma and skin cancer.
6. Skin camouflage thru use of coloured cover cream
Skin camouflage is the process by which one use special coloured cream to cover the white patches of vitiligo. This is not a cure but is intended only to cover the white area and improve the skin’s appearance.
You can also use self-tanning lotions available in pharmacies. These can hide vitiligo and can last for several days before re-applying it again. Fake tans can also be used although they are less effective and they tend to fade fast.