Vitiligo Self-Care & Vitiligo Prevention Tips

People with vitiligo can adopt certain measures in their daily lifestyle to help prevent their disease from getting worse.

Vitiligo Treatment Clinic

Sun protection

Skin that has lost its colour tends to sunburn easily. Sunburn can worsen vitiligo. Getting a tan from sun exposure can also increase the contrast between white vitiligo and normal tanned skin, thereby making the vitiligo patches appear more obvious.

Recommended measures:

1. Use sunscreen everyday

  • choose sunscreen lotions that are water resistant, SPF greater than 30 and offer broad spectrum (UVA + UVB) protection. Remember to reapply every 2 hours, after spending time in water or when you sweat
  • apply sunscreen to all skin that is not covered by clothing 

2. Wear clothing that protects you from the sun

  • The ability of clothing to protect your skin against UV radiation from the sun can be measured as a UPF rating
  • Some clothing comes pre-treated with UV absorbers that gives them a high UPF rating.
  • In general, loose fitting, dark or brightly coloured clothing made of densely woven fabric of unbleached cotton, shiny polyester or satiny silk confers the greatest UV protection
  • You can also increase the UPF of your clothing by adding UV blocking additives to the wash cycle.

3. Stay in the shade when possible

4. Do not use tanning beds and sun lamps

Skin protection

Take precautions to minimise skin injury and irritation

A cut, graze, scratch or friction to skin may lead to new patches of vitiligo

Avoid exposure to chemicals

Compounds containing phenols, catechols and sulfhydryls present industrial chemicals, cleaning agents and some hair dyes are known to cause loss of skin colour 

Reduce mental stress

Psychological stress has been known to trigger vitiligo flare-ups perhaps through its effect on immune cells and nervous systems of the skin.

Hence maintaining good mental health is essential to controlling the disease.

Do not get a tattoo

Do not tattoo your skin other than for treatment purpose as the micro-injuries caused by tattoos can lead to new vitiligo patches

Psychological & Social Impact of Vitiligo

People with vitiligo often suffer from low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.  

The appearance of the disease often affects one’s self image, makes one feel self conscious, anxious and embarrassed. It is sometimes made worst by perceived discrimination from others.  Children are especially vulnerable to teasing and bullying from their peers.

The early treatment of vitiligo is always advised.

People with vitiligo are encouraged to learn more about their condition to improve their own understanding and control of the disease.

Talking and sharing experiences with other people in a similar situation via support groups can also be helpful. 

Counselling provided by a psychologist is another option that is especially useful for addressing issues with self image, depression and anxiety.

Vitiligo, Psoriasis & Skin Clinic by DTAP

Psoriasis: Inflammatory Skin Condition Series

Welcome, come to our first series of what you need to know about Inflammatory Skin Disease. In this series, we will write about Psoriasis.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease caused by an increased rate of skin cell turnover, resulting in thick scales appearing on the skin.
The skin usually becomes inflamed leaving a red hue. The affected skin results in being dry and unsightly.
Apart from its appearance, patients might experience itch as one of the most distressing symptoms.

Do You Have Psoriasis?

This condition usually presents with a rash that looks like salmon pink patches with silvery scales. It can appear anywhere on the scalp, body, back and limbs.
The scaly patches on the scalp are usually thicker and commonly it affects the elbows, the knees and the back.
This condition can affect the nails leading to a “pitting” appearance.
Patient with severe psoriasis might experience joint pain, swelling or tenderness.

Why Does Psoriasis Happen?

Studies show that patients with this condition can run in the family and it might be started by factors such as infection, or certain medications.
Studies have also shown that the imbalance in the immune system has a correlation with psoriasis.

What you shouldn’t do that might worsen Psoriasis?

Physical and emotional stress are well known to aggravate psoriasis.

Do try to lead a healthy lifestyle like eating healthily and exercising regularly. Exercise is strongly recommended as apart from keeping healthy it helps to alleviate stress. In addition, exercising outdoors with sun exposure will benefit your condition.
Throat infections or flu may also aggravate the disease as well thus it is important to strengthen your Immune system through a good balance diet.
Some medications may provoke the appearance of psoriasis.
Patients with falls causing skin injury might trigger a flare of psoriasis.
It is also important to use the medications as prescribed by your physician. It is also recommended to keep hydrated and employ the use of emollients to prevent your skin from drying out and itching.
Most importantly, do not scratch your skin as this may worsen your condition. There are anti-itch menthol cream or medications which might alleviate from the itch.

What are the Different Treatments for Psoriasis?

1) Topical medications
Most people with this condition have mild disease and get considerable relief with topical applications. These include topical steroids, coal tar and vitamin D cream.
However, your physician will advise you on the uses of the different medication.
2) Phototherapy
Patient with psoriasis may also try Ultraviolet light treatment. The patient undergoes Ultraviolet-B light treatment few sessions a week over a period of several months.
However, it is worth noting that each patient can only be subjected to a certain number of sessions during their lifetime
3) Oral medications
If your condition is not responsive to the above medications, there are third line treatment such as oral medications.
Unfortunately, these drugs may suppress your immune system and cause severe side effects.
There are also risks involved and these include damage to the liver, kidney, causing you to have reduced red blood cells or even causing harm to your foetus if you are pregnant.

Is Psoriasis a Rare Skin Disease?

No, psoriasis is not an uncommon skin disease and it is not infectious. It cannot be passed on to other patients through contact.

Is there a cure for Psoriasis?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, most patients are able to achieve a good control over their condition and able to lead normal healthy life just like everyone else.

What else?

There are multiple studies that show that psoriasis has strong associations with other diseases. Obesity, Diabetes, Liver problems and high cholesterol are some of the examples.
Thus, apart from keeping psoriasis at bay, it is also extremely important to have your routine health check. Some blood tests that might be done include a check of your sugar and cholesterol levels.

If you wish to visit us for skin related concern, please visit us at our VITILIGO, PSORIASIS & SKIN CLINIC by DTAP at Scotts Medical Cente. We accept walk-ins and appointments.

Take Care!