Q:

How do you stop vitiligo from spreading?

A:

Quick Answer

There is no proven way to stop the spread of vitiligo, but treatments can improve the appearance of the affected skin, says Mayo Clinic. Vitiligo treatments have limited effectiveness, and many treatments have serious side effects.

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Full Answer

Physicians often suggest patients first try to improve the appearance of the skin using makeup or self-tanning products, says Mayo Clinic. Phototherapy treatment is most effective treatment for cases of vitiligo that affect more than 20 percent of the body, according to Vitiligo Support International. In this therapy, skin is exposed to narrowband UVA light, which stimulates the skin cells to produce melanocytes. The therapy may also suppress the immune system, which may stop new areas from forming. Patients must have the treatments three times a week, and results are often seen after 30 to 60 treatments.

Vitiligo is a condition in which white patches of skin appear on the body because the skin cells stop producing pigment, called melanin, in these places. Skin pigment loss due to vitiligo occurs on random parts of the body of individuals who may have a genetic predisposition to the condition, experience a stressful event or chemical exposure, or may be affected by an autoimmune disorder, says Mayo Clinic. The condition can be limited to only one area of the body, or it can affect several areas, and it may spread over a period of time.

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