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Treatment for Vitiligo

White Patches on the Skin

Vitiligo (vit-ill-EYE-go) is a condition in which white patches develop on the skin. Any location on the body can be affected, and most people with vitiligo have white patches in many areas of the body.

Melanin, Melanocytes, and Catalase

Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color. Vitiligo is caused by a loss of pigment in the skin, due to destruction of pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes. It is common in people with thyroid disorders. Vitiligo affects all races equally.

Vitiligo is caused by the body's reduced ability to fight free radicals, notably H2O2, that attach melanocytes. An important class of enzymes the body uses as weapons against free radicals are the catalases. Patients with vitiligo have reduced amounts of catalase. There is no cure for vitiligo but there are treatments available that can slow down or improve the condition.

The Compounding Solution

MYERS Medical Compounding Pharmacists can prepare a pseudocatalase cream with skin color additive adjustments. This treatment removes increased skin concentrations of hydrogen peroxide that lead to decreased pigment cells in patients suffering from vitiligo.

Pseudocatalase is a catalase-like substance that also protects against free radicals and is used in place of catalase to treat vitiligo. Catalase itself is not used because it is not small enough to pass through the outer surface of the skin.

Topical pseudocatalase is also being used with calcium and short term UVB light exposure. In a recent test, repigmentation occurred in the majority of patients after 2-3 months, and active depigmentation stopped in all patients. No reoccurrence was noted after a two year follow-up.

If you have a question about this condition or any of the medications available to treat it, please feel free to use the "Email Us" button at the top of the page, or call us.

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