- by Dr Vivekananda Bhat
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- Jun 13 2017
UVB / Phototherapy And PUVA Light Treatment For Vitiligo Patients
Marks, blemishes and scars are things that people don’t want on their skin. They can often tamper with the self-esteem and self-confidence of an individual. This, in turn, begins to affect their ability to socialize and cease opportunity. Hence the vicious cycle begins to form. But with a massive presence of online platforms, people have now become more proactive about getting rid of their marks. Sometimes these marks are just a natural occurrence, yet other time these marks never fade away. Such is the case with Vitiligo patients.
Light Treatment For Vitiligo Patients:
Vitiligo is a disorder where White patches begin appearing on the skin. There is no order to this disorder, the patches on some people are localized while on others it’s spread out. This disease does not have any implications for the body functioning. It is an autoimmune disorder – the patient’s immune system becomes overactive and destroys the melanocytes (melanin-forming cells).
Due to recent advancements in science and technology, new forms of treatment like UVB light treatment and PUVA light treatment have emerged. Since these treatments are not commonly resorted to, many people are not completely aware of them. But these are treatment options vitiligo patients should be aware of.
UVB / Phototherapy Light Treatment for Vitiligo Patients:
UVB Light treatment is catching on like wildfire. It is also known as Phototherapy. It is the technique that employs ultraviolet B rays (which is present in the sun’s rays) to help the body re-pigment. The treatment helps cover 20% of the body, but it is a slow process. Essentially the rays begin working from the out edges of each patch. Therefore, if the patients have localized vitiligo the treatment would work faster compared to Vitiligo patches who’s patches are widespread.
The advantage of light therapy is its suppressive nature towards the immune system. This means that it not only induces the pigment producing cells to create melanocytes but also represses the white patches from spreading. This treatment is extremely flexible as the patient can either opt to do it at the doctor’s office or at home with a doctor’s prescription. The treatment is normally given three times a week and depending on the effect of the vitiligo, the results of the treatment can’t be seen after 30-60 treatment sessions. Fair warning, since the treatment uses a component which is found in the sun ray’s it is likely to tan the skin.
PUVA Light Treatment for Vitiligo Patients:
Another treatment option for Vitiligo patients is PUVA light treatment. This treatment involves consuming a medicine known as psoralen before exposure to ultraviolet A light. Psoralen is a natural medicine made of chemicals found in the seeds of the various plant. This treatment is said to have comparatively lesser side effects. Essentially, the light absorbed by the skin energizes the psoralen, this then begins interacting with the DNA and stops the vitiligo cells from multiplying or spreading.
This treatment is administered at least three times a week. Always carry and wear a pair of sunglasses while undergoing the treatment. This is not a treatment that can be administered by the person themselves, they will have to get this with the help of a physician. This treatment is good at treating large areas of skin and for patients who have widespread vitiligo. The major disadvantage of this treatment is that once stopped, the vitiligo could come back, hence the treatment would have to be a lifelong choice.
Both these new innovative forms of treatment can help in the restoration of the skins natural tone. Moreover, they help combat autoimmune and skin disorder like vitiligo. These treatments provide patients with the confidence of overcoming their disorder and seizing every opportunity
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