Nothing can stop vitiligo spreading at the starting stage, but there are treatments to slow its spread and improve the appearance of the skin, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgical grafting techniques can repair small patches of skin affected by vitiligo.
Anti-inflammatory creams, vitamin D creams and phototherapy, used alone or together, are ways of treating vitiligo and lessening its symptoms, Mayo Clinic says. These treatments have side effects, however. Anti-inflammatory creams can lead to thinning of the skin and lines or streaks in the affected areas. Oral drugs that affect the immune system can also help, but they may increase the risk of lymphoma and skin cancer. Phototherapy is the application of ultraviolet light, sometimes combined with medications, but this often causes sunburn, blistering, itching and an increase in the risk of skin cancer.
The skin grafting procedures include both standard skin grafts and blister grafts, according to Mayo Clinic. In both cases, skin is taken from a part of the skin with normal pigmentation and attached to an area affected by vitiligo, which can cause these areas to regain some pigmentation. The effects are not always perfect and can leave affected areas blotchy as well as potentially leaving scars in the source areas of the grafts.