Eagle Dermatology -  - Dermatologist

Eagle Dermatology

Dermatologists located in Eagle, ID

When you have vitiligo — or the loss of pigmentation in your skin — it can impact your confidence regarding how you look. At Eagle Dermatology, Gabriel Guerrero, DO, a board-certified dermatologist recognized by the American Board of Dermatology, understands your concern and offers a variety of treatments for this skin-whitening condition. If you live in or near Eagle, Idaho, and need a doctor who can treat your vitiligo, call Eagle Dermatology today or go online to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Guerrero.

Vitiligo Q&A

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition that causes parts of your skin to lose its natural pigmentation and turn lighter than the rest of your skin. In many cases, the skin turns completely white. These patches can occur in one area or spread across your body. They may form in small spots or cover vast areas of skin.

If vitiligo develops where your hair grows, it can cause your hair to lose pigment and turn white. Vitiligo can also lighten the inside of your mouth or even fade the coloring of your eye.

The condition is not contagious, but can be life-altering due to its effect on your self-esteem. Although it typically has no symptoms other than depigmentation, some people say the area gets itchy or aches.

What causes vitiligo?

Vitiligo results when melanocytes, the cells that give color to your skin and hair, die. The root cause of this cellular death is unknown, although some forms of vitiligo may result from an autoimmune disease — a condition in which your body mistakes these cells as foreign and attacks them. You may be particularly susceptible if you have Hashimoto’s disease or alopecia areata.

Although the underlying cause of this skin condition remains mysterious, certain risk factors have been indicated and include:

  • Being 20 or under (nearly half of all cases appear before 21)
  • Having a family member who has vitiligo

In many cases, vitiligo develops after exposure to a trigger, which can range from a sunburn to stress to industrial chemicals.

How do you treat vitiligo?

Dr. Guerrero determines the best treatment for your vitiligo based on a variety of factors, including how far the depigmentation has spread, your overall health, and how it impacts your psyche.

No treatment

Since vitiligo is often a cosmetic issue, some people opt not to treat it. They may leave it as is or cover the area with makeup or self-tanner.

Topical medications

Dr. Guerrero may suggest a topical cream or ointment you can apply to your skin to stimulate pigment. These medications treat small areas and typically contain a strong corticosteroid.

Narrowband UVB light treatments

To restore lost color, Dr. Guerrero may recommend narrowband UVB (ultraviolet B) light treatments, especially if your vitiligo formed on your face. This treatment exposes your skin to UVB light, which stimulates the cells that create pigmentation and may recolor your skin. You may need multiple treatments to reach optimal results.

If you need vitiligo treatment and live near Eagle, Idaho, call Dr. Guerrero’s office today. You can even schedule your appointment online at Eagle Dermatology.