Topical Depigmentation

If your vitiligo has spread to more than 50% of your skin and various topical or light therapies have failed to repigment it, your dermatologist may suggest that you use topical medication to remove pigment from the remaining areas of your skin. Depigmentation, or the loss of skin pigment, can result in a pale skin tone that is constant throughout your body.

 

Topical Depigmentation for Vitiligo

If your vitiligo has impacted 50 percent (or more) of your body, depigmentation therapy may be a possibility. The approach involves using powerful topical lotions or ointments to lighten the skin color of unaffected skin. The goal is to have a uniform skin tone. Despite the fact that the treatment is permanent, it can make the skin more brittle and sensitive to the sun.

What is Topical Depigmentation?

If your vitiligo has spread to more than 50% of your skin and various topical or light therapies have failed to repigment it, your dermatologist may suggest using topical medication to remove pigment from the remaining skin. Depigmentation, or the loss of skin color, can leave you with a light skin tone that is constant all over your body.

Depigmentation is a more intensive form of therapy, and our dermatologists will work with you to make this decision and ensure that you have all of the information you need. If you want to undergo depigmentation, our specialists will give medical as well as emotional assistance.

Monobenzone is a drug that dermatologists use to erase color from the skin. This drug is applied to pigmented areas of the skin twice a day. This drug gradually fades pigmented spots, bringing them closer to the lighter patches of skin caused by vitiligo. It could take years to accomplish complete depigmentation.

Depigmented skin is extremely sun-sensitive. Every time you spend time outside, you must use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater and wear protective clothes. Sun exposure can cause spotting by activating pigment cells in hair follicles beneath the skin. Monobenzone can cause skin irritation and redness as a side effect.

How does Topical Depigmentation treat Vitiligo?

For patients with vitiligo or comparable diseases, topical depigmenting drugs or lasers are utilized to lighten the skin tone. The aim is to reduce the amount of melanin that is still present in areas untouched by vitiligo (or to function in different ways to limit melanogenesis – the pigmentation route by which cells make melanin), resulting in a more equal appearance of the skin.

A bleaching solution is often administered regularly for up to 12 months to complete the change. It usually takes 2 to 3 months for a person to notice any effects. When it comes to effectiveness, approximately 95% of people have depigmented skin.

Although no perfect depigmenting therapy exists at the moment, various medicines and laser therapies have been in use for many years. Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (MBEH), 4-methoxyphenol, and 88 percent phenol are the most common skin lightening compounds used in both prescription and over-the-counter remedies. MBEH is FDA-approved in the United States, although it takes months to depigment. Cryotherapy and Q-switched ruby and alexandrite lasers are two physical therapies for depigmentation.

Research & Effectiveness of Topical Depigmentation

Monobenzone is a drug that dermatologists use to erase color from the skin. This drug is applied to pigmented areas of the skin twice a day. This drug gradually fades pigmented spots, bringing them closer to the lighter patches of skin caused by vitiligo. It could take years to accomplish complete depigmentation.

Depigmented skin is extremely sun-sensitive. Every time you spend time outside, you must use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater and wear protective clothes. Sun exposure can cause spotting by activating pigment cells in hair follicles beneath the skin. Monobenzone can cause skin irritation and redness as a side effect.

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