Light Therapy & Vitiligo

Our life is full of patches!

Patches in job, career, personal life, and skin too! When we can handle the life patches and hardship with determination, then why not with skin. The skin patches disease is termed as Vitiligo. It is a medical condition where skin loses its color. Vitiligo affect not only physically but also cause a mentally & emotionally. According to VRF, this condition affects 2% of the world’s population. So, around 70 million people across the world have vitiligo. It can affect can affect people of any age, gender, or ethnicity.

How does it occur?

Well many of us are not aware of the biological reasoning behind the condition. It occurs when cells responsible for making skin pigment called melanocytes get destroyed. It can affect any part of your body like limbs, back, neck, face, etc. The body stops producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color.

The symptoms of Vitiligo are like – Patchy, loss of skin color, which usually first appears on the hands, face, and areas around body openings. Other like premature whitening or greying of the hair on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard. Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease, where the person’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own body (or host body). Other than that, the skin cells (melanocytes) of the affected person appears to unable to deal with the imbalance of antioxidants and harmful free radicals generated inside the body. This results in cell damage and death.

Light therapy - the hope

Today a number of treatments which are aimed for the restoring the discoloration of the skin. But the best and the convenient is Light Therapy. Especially the narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) has come up as one of the safest and most effective therapy for this skin condition.

In this treatment, the depigmented or discolored skin is exposed under a specific wavelength of light for a specific amount of time and using a specified amount of light monitored or prescribed by the dermatologist. The duration of a session can gradually increase as one’s progress based on his/her skin’s response to the light.

Light therapy treatment often involves the usage if specific light which are used in combination with topical medications that are applied to the skin. The topical treatments can be topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors or topical Vitamin D etc. Although the treatment can be used without the topical as well. Topical medications may also be used on their own, without light therapy, however, when the two treatments are used together, the results are typically seen well.

According to the studies, the light therapy session have a great response to treatment. The greatest response is shown majorly on the face and neck. Several retrospective and prospective studies have displayed superior repigmentation, color matching results.

Light therapy is a hope for people who perceive it as an incurable disease. The technology of light therapy helps people to overcome the physical as well as mental aspect of their body.

References:

https://nyulangone.org/conditions/vitiligo/treatments/phototherapy-laser-treatment-for-vitiligo

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536079/

https://www.medscape.com/answers/1068962-87933/how-is-narrowband-uv-b-nb-uvb-used-to-treat-vitiligo

https://www.umassmed.edu/vitiligo/vitiligo-treatment/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6607222/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817459/