Vitiligo is a disease characterized by the skin whitening. Although the etiology thereof is not completely known, it has been speculated that it can be an autoimmune disease since other autoimmune diseases are seen therewith. Most frequently, it is seen together with thyroid diseases.
In vitiligo, immune system accidentally declares war on color pigments on the skin, resulting in decreased number of color cells called melanocytes. As a result of oxidative stress, hydrogen peroxide in the skin increases, leading to the skin whitening. Catalase enzyme cures the disease by degrading hydrogen peroxide. Based on this mechanism, treatments with ultraviolet ray and pseudocatalase and calcium provide successful results.
Ultraviolet is the wavelength of sunlight. UVA (320-400 nm) and UVB (280-320 nm) give effective results in treatment of vitiligo, but any extreme dose exceeding the abovementioned amounts results in worsening of disease. Therefore, too much sunbathing is prohibited, but ultraviolet treatment is useful.
In the recent years, many successful results are reported with the exciplex laser, an ultraviolet wavelength laser. The treatment with exciplex laser will soon be available in our center.
Currently, we perform levamisole treatment of which the mechanism of action is not clearly known and can only be randomly observed. For local administration, we use potent steroids such as pimecrolimus or tacrolimus.