Get Help for Patchy Loss of Skin Color Due to a Chronic Autoimmune Disease in NY

White patches on the skin, premature graying or whitening of the hair, and loss of pigment in the inner lining of the nose and lips are all symptoms of long-term condition known as vitiligo. The NY-based team at Hudson Dermatology—drawing on extensive experience in the field of medical dermatology—can provide an accurate diagnosis and help for this chronic skin disorder.

Although vitiligo is not contagious or life-threatening, it can negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem. There is no cure for this condition, and there’s no way to fully avoid the resulting continual loss of pigment, but there are treatments that can help to restore a more uniform skin color.

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Schedule a consultation for vitiligo at NY′s Hudson Dermatology. Use our online scheduler today.

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What Is Vitiligo?

Skin and hair get their color from melanin, which is a pigment made in specialized cells called melanocytes. Vitiligo is a skin condition that results from melanocytes becoming damaged. When there aren’t enough functional melanocytes left to produce a sufficient amount of melanin, white or lighter patches begin to develop in the skin. Although the underlying cause of this condition is not fully understood, it is an autoimmune disorder because of the way the body attacks its own cells.

The most common areas for pigment loss to occur are the hands and face, but the problem can also affect the neck, skin creases, genitals, and any other part of the skin. Lighter-pigmented patches usually don’t cause discomfort but are very prone to sunburn and skin cancer. This condition typically starts before the age of 30 for most patients.

There are two main types: non-segmental and segmental vitiligo.

Non-Segmental Vitiligo

This type, which is the most common form, is characterized by patches appearing on both sides of the body in a random fashion.

Segmental Vitiligo

This form of the disorder, which is a much less common type and usually occurs earlier in life, is associated with white patches only forming on one side of the body.

FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.

FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.

What Vitiligo Treatments Are Available?

To obtain a vitiligo diagnosis, you will be asked about your medical history, and your skin may be examined with an ultraviolet (UV) light called a Wood’s lamp. A skin biopsy and blood test to look for possible associated autoimmune conditions may also be needed.

The goal of vitiligo treatments is to restore the color balance of the skin by adding or removing pigment to alter its appearance, but the choice of treatment depends on several factors, including the age of the patient, how much of the skin is affected by the disorder, where the patches are located, how rapidly the symptoms are progressing, and how severely the patient’s life is affected by vitiligo.

Some patients find it best to simply use makeup or self-tanner to change their skin’s appearance, especially if the patches are small. It is often possible to restore pigment in previously white patches. Treatment of more recent patches is typically more successful than that of longer-standing lesions.

Hudson Dermatology provides excimer laser treatments to improve symptoms of conditions like vitiligo. Limiting sun exposure and wearing high SPF sunscreen also helps to preserve an even complexion and avoid sunburn and skin cancer.

Excimer Laser Treatments

FDA-approved excimer laser treatments produce a concentrated beam of narrow band ultraviolet B (UVB) light to directly treat targeted areas of skin. These lasers are proven to delay or prevent the progression of the disorder when it is active. The highly effective, gentle, and safe treatments don’t typically cause any discomfort, and the surrounding, healthy areas of skin are not affected by the laser energy.

Medications

Topical and oral medications are another treatment option. Corticosteroids and other creams, pills, and injections that control inflammation may sometimes be effective for restoring color to the skin.

Depigmentation

Another option to consider for correcting a severe form of the condition is applying a depigmenting agent to lighten the areas of skin that haven’t been affected, so that the overall skin tone becomes more uniform over time.

Surgery

If other treatments haven’t proven effective, Hudson Dermatology may recommend surgical options such as skin grafting, melanocyte transplants, and micropigmentation.

Clinical Trials

There are many doctors at Hudson Dermatology doctors who are on the faculty of a major academic research institution or have a relationship with one. There are multiple therapies for vitiligo in the development and testing phases. We can discuss whether you may be a good candidate to refer to a clinical trial as part of your treatment strategy.

Treatments for Other Skin Disorders

Hudson Dermatology offers comprehensive diagnosis, care, symptom management, and treatments for an extensive range of skin disorders including acne and chronic skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. There are treatments available for common nail conditions.

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Contact the Hudson Dermatology team now to set up a consultation for vitiligo in NY. Dutchess, Westchester, Columbia, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange County residents can schedule an appointment via our online scheduler.

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