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Vitiligo Specialist

Houston Skin Associates

Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Museum District Houston & Pearland, TX

If you struggle with the loss of skin pigment, you may have vitiligo. At Houston Skin Associates in Museum District, Houston, and Pearland, Texas, the skilled dermatology team treats vitiligo to give you the even-toned skin you desire. To get treated for vitiligo, call the Houston Skin Associates office or schedule an appointment online today.

Vitiligo Q & A

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin disease causing loss of skin pigment in patches. If left untreated, lighter-colored skin patches associated with vitiligo often get bigger over time and can even affect the inside of your mouth or your hair. 

Vitiligo symptoms occur when cells that produce melanin stop functioning properly. Symptoms are more common among people with darker skin colors, but treatment can improve the appearance of uneven skin tone.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Common symptoms often experienced with vitiligo include:

  • Patchy loss of skin color
  • Premature graying or whitening of hair
  • Loss of color in the inside of your nose or mouth
  • Skin color loss in your face, hands, or near your genitals

Vitiligo typically appears before age 30, but it can develop at any age. Lighter patches can form on nearly any skin surface, on your face and hands only, or just one side of your body.

When left untreated, vitiligo patches can spread to other areas of your skin.

What are the risk factors for vitiligo?

The exact cause of vitiligo isn’t always clear, but factors that may increase your risk of developing it include:

  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Family history of vitiligo
  • Stress
  • Severe sunburn
  • Contact with chemicals
  • Other types of skin trauma

Untreated vitiligo can increase your risk of hearing loss, eye problems, sunburn, and psychological or social distress.

How does my doctor diagnose vitiligo?

To diagnose vitiligo and develop an effective treatment, experts at Houston Skin Associates review your medical history, ask about your symptoms, and examine your skin. They may complete blood tests, skin biopsies, or use a specialized lamp to evaluate your skin.

How is vitiligo treated?

Common treatments for vitiligo include:

Medications

Taking certain medications can restore aesthetically pleasing skin tone. You may apply a cream to the affected skin, take oral medicines, or receive injections.

Light therapy

Noninvasive phototherapy helps stop the progression of vitiligo. You might need multiple treatment sessions to achieve the best results. 

Surrounding skin color removal

In some cases, your dermatologist suggests applying a depigmentation agent to unaffected skin to lighten areas surrounding vitiligo patches and produce even-toned skin.

Surgery

Skin grafting or other surgical procedures may be an option if other treatments haven’t worked or if you have a severe case of vitiligo.

If you develop vitiligo and desire even-toned skin, call the Houston Skin Associates office or book an appointment online today.