Vitiligo – A Depigmentation Treatment



Gaining Back Your Skin Pigment


What is a Depigmentation Treatment?

Vitiligo or depigmentation refers to the lightening of the skin or loss of pigment. Skin depigmentation can be caused by a number of indigenous and general conditions. The pigment loss on the skin can be partial (caused by injury) or widespread (caused by vitiligo). Additionally, it can be temporary (from tinea versicolor) or permanent (from albinism).

Often, depigmentation is linked to people with vitiligo, which creates divergent areas of light and dark skin. Some treatments may help reduce or contain depigmentation. Others can help blend the lightened areas with your natural skin colour.



All races in the world are affected by vitiligo but it’s more noticeable in those with a darker complexion. Skin depigmentation can spread over time or may stay in a single spot. However, it might grow and cover a larger area of your face or other body parts. Other conditions that can lead to minor depigmentation include:

        • Eczema
        • Sunspots
        • Tine Versicolor
        • Milia

The ailment primarily affects your skin. The symptoms of facial vitiligo include:

        • Lightened skin that develops in spots or patches on the face
        • Hair that gets prematurely gray or white, including your beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows
        • Lightening of the tissues inside your mouth and nose
        • Changed color of the retina in your eyes

Other symptoms of depigmentation may include some of the following physiological and psychological effects:

        • Pain and itching
        • Stress, depression, and low-self esteem

It occurs when the skin cells (melanocytes) stop producing adequate melanin, which gives the skin its colour. A lack of melanin results in white patches on the area of the skin. Facial vitiligo can occur on the skin, lips, and also the inside of your mouth.

Having vitiligo increases your chance of getting an autoimmune disorder. It can occur in various forms:

        • Generalized – Depigmentation is symmetrical on your face and body. This is the most common type of vitiligo.
        • Focal – You have just a few spots in an isolated area of your face or body.
        • Segmental – You have depigmentation on just one side of your face or body.


The Causes of Vitiligo

There has not been any known reason for causing depigmentation as one only experiences it when the skin cells stop producing pigment. Some factors that may cause you to experience depigmentation include:

        • An autoimmune condition that alters your immune system
        • Your genetics and a family history of the disease.
        • Physical trauma and sunburns
        • Stress and ailments


The Various Treatments for Depigmentation

Treatments for vitiligo vary with a higher success rate on the face as compared to other parts of the body where it occurs. The chances of your skin regaining back its pigment is between 10 – 20 % with treatment and you may need to use other methods to manage depigmentation. Some of the treatments one can undertake to manage the condition or repigment the skin include:



There are some medications that can help with depigmentation on the face. Your doctor may recommend the following: immunomodulators, corticosteroids, and vitamin D analogs.



This involves applying a tinted cream to blend your affected facial skin with the rest of your complexion. This camouflage method works for daily use. However, it needs to be applied again when you wake up in the morning. There are self-tanners that change the tone of your affected facial skin. It is advisable to first check if it’s recommended for facial use.



Tattooing is also another viable option on the table. However, this one involves adding pigment to the skin area through a process known as micropigmentation. Thrive Aesthetics is proud to offer this tattooing treatment. It is useful for lip pigmentation and scalp micropigmentation.


Skin Graft

This method involves removing pigmented skin from one part of the body and moving it to the area where there’s no pigment.


Laser and LED therapy

Lasers and other light-emitting devices may help reverse depigmentation from vitiligo. One type of light therapy includes the excimer laser which can treat the condition in a shorter period of time than other light therapies. The laser and daily application of topical calcipotriene reduced depigmentation by more than 75 percent in a 10-to-20-week period.


Skincare Tips For Vitiligo

The most crucial action to take at home if you experience depigmentation on your face is to protect it from the sun. The lightened skin from vitiligo is extremely sensitive to UV rays. Makeup, like concealers and foundations that match your complexion, may reduce the discoloration caused by vitiligo. Don’t get a traditional tattoo if you have vitiligo. This could cause a new patch of skin depigmentation to occur after a few weeks.

There are many ways to treat and manage facial vitiligo. Book a consultation with Thrive Aesthetics and learn about possible options for treatment. Lastly, seek out emotional support from friends and family, or a support group or counselor.


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