SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 25 June 2019 - For the past eight years, June 25 has been designated as World Vitiligo Day to help increase awareness of a skin disease known as vitiligo that affects about 1 in every 100 people around the globe.
Vitiligo causes a person's skin to lose its pigment, resulting in discoloured skin patches, known as macules. The disease commonly occurs before 20 years of age.
While its causes remain unknown, factors such as stress, genetic make-up, exposure to toxins can trigger the skin depigmentation process.
Although the skin patches are not life-threatening, they can affect the mental and emotional well-being of vitiligo patients. Due to a misconception about vitiligo being contagious, sufferers have been known to be subjected to bullying and even social ostracism -- causing many to suffer from low esteem and psychological trauma.
Vitiligo sufferers should do their utmost to cooperate with their doctors since early and proper treatment can help stop the spread of discolouration and restore pigment in many of the cases.
They should also avoid self-medication or folk remedies, since these might not only be inappropriate but even worsen their current situation.
One specialist facility which provides a comprehensive range of treatment is the Novena Vitiligo Medical Centre in Singapore (https://www.novenavitiligo.com). It is the first vitiligo medical centre in Singapore and South-east Asia to focus solely on the treatment of vitiligo using state-of-the-art technology.
At the Novena Vitiligo Medical Centre, patients will be given customised treatment, depending on their specific needs. Each patient will be given a thorough assessment of his/her physical symptoms by doctors at the centre. Apart from examining the size and extent of the depigmentation, the patient will also be asked about his/her previous treatment history and lifestyle habits. Only then will the doctors recommend the best treatment for the patient.
Medication -- Four types of exclusive medication, comprising a special blend of oral antioxidants, are available.
Phototherapy -- It uses cutting-edge technology such as the Waldmann UV Therapy System or the VTRAC 308nm excimer lamp.
Grafting -- The centre offers both skin and blister grafting.
Melanocyte Transplant -- Pigment-forming cells, or melanocytes, from healthy skin are transferred onto depigmented areas.
The existence of various treatment options can help vitiligo sufferers to regain skin colour -- and their self-confidence -- and live life as they want it.