Vitiligo, a challenge for the dermatologist

Written by: Dr. Manuel Moragón Gordon
Published: | Updated: 15/11/2018
Edited by: Patricia Pujante Crespo

Vitiligo is an acquired pigmentary disease, characterized by the appearance of depigmented spots, milky white skin and mucous membranes. This is due to the destruction of melanocytes, which are cells that synthesize and secrete melanin, the main pigment that gives color to the skin.


Multifactorial causes of vitiligo

The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but is considered multifactorial, in which genetic factors, impaired immunity, cytotoxic phenomena within the melanocyte and even neurological factors are involved. On the other hand there are triggers, the main stress.


White spots on the skin, the first symptom of vitiligo

White spots may appear in any location of skin integument and are the main symptom of vitiligo. The size of the spots varies from a few millimeters to several centimeters and can reach coalesce, causing large areas of depigmentation. Hair can also be affected, whitening it. The spots are asymptomatic and are located mainly in the area around the eyes and mouth, back of hands, forearms, scalp and genital area.

Vitiligo may be stable, in which no change in the number or size of the spots for months or years or, on the contrary, the patient may have an active vitiligo with continuous smearing.


Treatment for vitiligo according to the degree of involvement

Vitiligo has always been a therapeutic challenge for the specialist in Dermatology. Cream corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors: When vitiligo is located or is slightly extended, topical treatments are used. They are generally long-term treatments and are more effective in head and neck. Phototherapy is another treatment option, either PUVA (psoralens plus ultraviolet A light) or ultraviolet B narrow band, but they are used in extensive injuries. Other therapeutic possibilities are 308nm excimer laser or minigrafts autologous skin.

In the case of assets or unstable vitiligo, patients can be treated with oral corticosteroids with similar results. Recently it has been observed that treatment with oral adding narrowband UBV corticosteroids, best results are obtained that only corticosteroid.


Edited by Patricia Crespo Pujante

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Manuel Moragón Gordon

Dr. Moragón Gordon is a leading expert in skin cancer , and the current Head of the Dermatology Service of the Hospital de San Juan in Alicante . He is also a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Miguel Hernández University and was head of the Department of Dermatology at Elda Hospital. He graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Valencia in 1977 and specialized in Dermatology in 1982. He is a member of the main scientific societies of the national and international specialty.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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