Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. The extent and rate of color loss from vitiligo is unpredictable. It can affect the skin on any part of your body. It may also affect hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes.
Normally, the color of hair, skin and eyes is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning.
Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself. Treatment for vitiligo may improve the appearance of the affected skin but does not cure the disease.
Replenishing melanocytes selectively in vitiliginous macules by autologous melanocytes is a promising treatment. With expertise, it has now become possible to treat larger recipient areas with smaller skin samples.
In this procedure, a shave biopsy sample of skin is taken with a dermatome from unaffected site. The skin sample is processed to obtain a cellular suspension of melanocytes and keratinocytes which is transplanted on the denuded recipient site. The area is covered with a collagen dressing and immobilized. Fairly large areas can be treated with this method and excellent cosmetic results obtained.
Non-cultured epidermal suspension is indicated mainly for segmental vitiligo and for stable non-segmental vitiligo that does not respond to medical treatment. It is one of the best surgical modalities as the repigmentation achieved is uniform and aesthetically acceptable. With this modality, large area can be treated using only smaller donor area as 1 cm2 of donor area can cover 10cm2 of recipient area. It has given us encouraging results in case of resistant patches.
Vitiligo is only considered stable if the affected area has remained unchanged for at least on year.
Within 2 – 4 months of the treatment, patients will begin to see repigmentation of treated areas. Full benefits are typically seen after approximately 6 months.
Our vitiligo treatment is not considered to be a painful treatment. Some patients may experience minor discomfort on treated areas for a few days after the procedure, however this can be dealt with using mild pain killers if necessary.
Typically, a single treatment is required. However, for patients with very large patches/areas of vitiligo, it may be necessary to have more than one treatment.
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