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How is vitiligo treated?

Treatment may help make the skin look more even. The choice of treatment depends on:

  • The number of white patches
  • How widespread the patches are
  • The treatment the person prefers to use.

Some treatments are not right for everyone. Many treatments can have unwanted side effects. Treatments can take a long time, and sometimes they don't work.

Current treatment options for vitiligo include medical, surgical, and other treatments. Most treatments are aimed at restoring color to the white patches of skin.

Medical treatments include:

  • Medicines (such as creams) that you put on the skin
  • Medicines that you take by mouth
  • A treatment that uses medicine plus ultraviolet A (UVA) light (PUVA)
  • Removing the color from other areas so they match the white patches.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Skin grafts from a person's own tissues. The doctor takes skin from one area of a patient's body and attaches it to another area. This is sometimes used for people with small patches of vitiligo.
  • Tattooing small areas of skin.

Other treatments include:

  • Sunscreens
  • Cosmetics, such as makeup or dye, to cover the white patches
  • Counseling and support.
Return to Vitiligo

See what others are saying

Comment from: cksellars, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

My husband has had vitiligo for all of his adult life. As a baby, he was severely allergic to milk products. Over a year ago, he changed his diet, removing milk and gluten products, added a strong regimen of vitamins (including tyrosine, fish oil, super greens powder, etc.), and stopped hiding from the sun (purposely spent at least 15 minutes a day to get sun exposure). Well what do you know, the pigment came back! No fancy medicines, no topical cream, just stop eating what humans were not meant to digest and get some sun.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: anonanon, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 02

My father developed vitiligo in his early 60s and tried a number of treatments. What finally worked for him on his face (100 percent re-pigmentation except for some tiny spots below the nose) was Hydroval - hydrocortisone 17 valerate 0.2 percent and Protopic - tacrolimus ointment 0.1 percent (weight/weight) at night. I believe he had to avoid sun exposure. The spots on his hands were less responsive, but he thinks this is because he washed his hands too frequently while using the medicines. I hope this helps someone.

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Comment from: Lois, Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I was diagnosed with vitiligo a year ago. I began a UVB phototherapy plus Protopic twice a day three months ago with fantastic results on my face (100 percent re-pigmentation). The vitiligo on my hands is still the same, however I see that one spot is getting pigment back again. I do phototherapy at home 4 times a week as also take vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin D, probiotic and gingko. I stopped eating spicy and sour food.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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