Vitiligo 101: Common FAQs From Concerned Patients

There are a lot of different skin conditions that can cause drastic changes in your appearance, but vitiligo could easily be one skin condition that causes the most concern. Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which the cells of the skin lose their pigment or color. This loss of color pigment in the skin can leave you with unsightly patches of discoloration that will often grow with age. The disease usually shows up in a young adult and spreads as a person gets older. If you have been diagnosed with vitiligo, you are bound to have some questions. Here are a few of the most common questions about vitiligo and the answers you want to know:

Is vitiligo a genetic problem that can be passed to your children?

Whether you already have children or you plan to have children later, it is always concerning to be diagnosed with any kind of disease or issue because you don't want to pass something to your children. While vitiligo does not show up in every generation, the disease is related to a specific set of inherited genes. Therefore, if you have children, there is a chance that you pass the same gene sequence that you have to them, and in turn, they could also develop the condition.  

Is there a safe way to minimize the discoloration associated with vitiligo?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for vitiligo and no way to prevent the condition before it starts to develop. However, there are some treatment options that can help. Instead of treating the patches of skin that have lost their pigmentation, most patients choose to try and lighten the skin around the patches to even out the tone. There are several forms of skin lightening agents on the market, but you should not expect completely uniform results, and some products have questionable side effects. 

Is it true that your doctor can give you oral medications for vitiligo?

Your dermatologist may prescribe oral medications that help alter the pigments of your skin. However, these medications are not typically something you can use for the long term without causing other health concerns. Even though vitiligo is troublesome emotionally, it is not relative to any other health threats that are known. Therefore, most dermatologists will not recommend using any medications that could have negative consequences on your health if they will only provide little skin tone improvement. 

Contact a medical office like Heibel Dermatology for more information and assistance.