VITILIGO / LEUCODERMA / PHULVERRI (IN HINDI)
Leucoderma/Vitiligo is a condition where there is absence or lack of pigment forming cells i.e. Melanocytes.This condition affects approximately 1-2% of the population. Vitiligo is considered as autoimmune disease of skin in which melanocytes are killed or absent because of the immune response of an individual.
Vitiligo may be considered as a stigma in the society and the patient having this disease may face emotional stress, social boycott, difficulty in marriage, job and hence decreases self esteem and confidence of an individual.
AUTOLOGOUS NON CULTURED MELANOCYTES (MKC) TRANSPLANTATION/MELANOCYTE TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE
In this procedure a suspension is made of melanocytes-Keratinocytes from a non affected donor area from which a skin is taken either by razor or shave technique and after a special procedure is followed to make a suspension which is then applied on the vitiligo area of skin after dermabrasion and is secured with special adhesives so as to repigment the affected area
1. Ten fold large areas can be treated at one time (av. 300 sq.cm.). Very large areas can be treated in multiple sittings.
2. Excellent cosmetic results with minimum or nil side effects – no scarring, cobble-stoning or beaded edge.
3. Safe & simple DAY CARE procedure.
4. Stable Vitiligo of any size & affecting any anatomical site can be treated.
5. Multiple areas can be treated simultaneously.
6. One stage operative procedure compared to two stage technique required for laboratory cultured cellular transplant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Ans. The options of management include (a) Medical (b) Photo Therapy and Lasers (c) Surgery (d) Cosmetic Camouflage.
Ans. Medical options like steroids qnd psoralen can' t be used for long time as they carry their side effects, though creams can be used in affected ares under medical supervision.Medical therapy has to be instituted with care for lactating mothers and pregnant females and children.
Ans. UVB-Narrow band is the mainstay treatment and majority of patients respond to this treatment.Monochromatic IPL, Targeted phototherapy, lasers can also be used.
These devices are based on a particular wave length of light (311nm), are generally very safe especially , the NB-UVB which is safe even in small kids and pregnant ladies. These act as immune- modulators thereby causing not only repigmentation (bring back the lost pigment) but also prevent the spread of vitiligo.
Ans. Surgical options needs to be considered in patient with refractory but stable vitiligo.
Ans. A) Tissue grafting
B) Cellular grafting (melanocyte transplant) .
Ans. Re-pigmentation begins as early as 4-6 weeks & continues to improve till the next 5-6 months & even further on up to 2 years.
Ans. Yes it can be used to re-pigment difficult areas such as lips, acral areas & finger tips with a good success rate though more than one session is generally required.
Ans. Yes the results are permanent till the time the disease is not showing further signs of activity.