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New Hopes for Vitiligo Patients, Sugery Restores Skin Color

New Hopes for Vitiligo Patients, Sugery Restores Skin Color

(epharmanews)- A new study gives hope to vitiligo patients who experience increasing white spots all over their bodies. The study found that surgical procedures to treat this disease can be a safe, effective solution that gives these patients their original skin color in the affected areas.

Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes loss of skin color and development of white spots that vary in size and position. It is often seen in people with darker skin. So far there is no full cure for it. Standard treatments include light therapy and topical medications.

Vitiligo develops when the immune system kills cells called melanocytes, the cells which give the skin its color, turning the skin into white because the cells no longer make pigment.

The surgical procedure, performed and local anesthesia, involves transferring healthy, normal skin cells taken from pigmented areas to the damaged area. Surgery duration is 30-120 minutes and it is safe and easy and patients usually get back home on the same day.

Treated areas were hands, legs, feet, face and stomach. The average treated area was 46 square centimeters, roughly the size of a credit card.

“The results achieved in our study were of obvious significance to our patients,” says Iltefat Hamzavi, M.D., a senior staff physician in Henry Ford’s Department of Dermatology and the study’s senior author and principal investigator. This study is the first of its kind to test the effectiveness of such surgeries in the US. To complete it, researchers from Henry Ford hospital examined 23 patients for six months after the surgery and found that treated areas restore 43% of the original skin color. Patients with local vitiligo restored 63% of the original color in the treated areas.

The study is published in the May edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Researchers expect these results will promote such surgeries especially to treat spots that can affect patients’ appearances.

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Prepared by: Basel AlJunaidy

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