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Other Options for Vitiligo

Skin Grafts Using Blisters
In this treatment for vitiligo, the doctor creates blisters on the patient's pigmented skin by using heat, suction, or freezing cold. The tops of the blisters are then cut out and transplanted to a depigmented skin area. The risks of blister grafting include:
 
  • The development of a cobblestone appearance
  • Scarring
  • Lack of repigmentation.
 
However, there is less risk of scarring with this procedure than with other types of grafting.
 
Micropigmentation (Tattooing)
Tattooing implants pigment into the skin with a special surgical instrument. This procedure works best for the lip area, particularly in people with dark skin; however, it is difficult for the doctor to match perfectly the color of the skin of the surrounding area. Tattooing tends to fade over time. In addition, tattooing of the lips may lead to episodes of blister outbreaks caused by the herpes simplex virus.
 
Autologous Melanocyte Transplants
In this procedure, the doctor takes a sample of the patient's normal pigmented skin and places it in a laboratory dish containing a special cell culture solution to grow melanocytes. When the melanocytes in the culture solution have multiplied, the doctor transplants them to the patient's depigmented skin patches. This procedure is currently experimental and is impractical for the routine care of people with vitiligo.
 

Adjunctive Treatment

Other treatment options for vitiligo include:
 
  • Sunscreens
  • Cosmetics, such as makeup or dye, to cover the white patches
  • Counseling and support (see Living With Vitiligo).
     
Sunscreens
People who have vitiligo, particularly those with fair skin, should use a sunscreen that provides protection from both the UVA and UVB forms of ultraviolet light. Sunscreen helps protect the skin from sunburn and long-term damage. Sunscreen also minimizes tanning, which makes the contrast between normal and depigmented skin less noticeable.

Vitiligo Skin Disorder

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