Key words that help understand Vitiligo:
a rare, inherited disorder characterized by a total lack of melanin (skin pigment) in the skin.
Proteins directed against infectious agents or other foreign substances.
Diseases in which the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues or organs.
A small tissue sample used in some cases to confirm a diagnosis.
Loss of skin color that can also occur in mucous membranes, hair, or structures of the eye.
the middle layer of skin, which is made up of blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
the outer layer of skin, which is made up of the horny layer, squamous cells and basal cells.
a term which means, "white skin." There are other causes for white skin, but Vitiligo is the most common.
A pigment that determines skin color.
Special skin cells that produce the skin pigment melanin. Melanocytes are present in the epidermis.
Narrow Band UVB:
Narrow band UVB is produced by a fluorescent lamp type that is designed to have a high concentration of its output about the wavelength of 310 nanometers. This wavelength is more effective to stimulate melanocytes and is considered safer as compared to broad-band UVB.
Ultraviolet light that is used in a treatment called phototherapy for certain skin conditions like Vitiligo and psoriasis.
A coloring substance. Pigments can be present in different cells and tissues of the body.
Coloring of the skin, hair, mucous membranes, and the eye.
Drugs containing chemicals that react with ultraviolet light to cause darkening of the skin.
PUVA stands for psoralen plus ultraviolet A therapy. The patient is exposed first to psoralens and then to ultraviolet A (UVA) light.
a common fungal skin infection characterized by white or light brown patches on the skin.
Topical steroid therapy:
Treatment with a cortisone-like preparation or cream for external, local use.
Ultraviolet light A (UVA):
One type of radiation that is part of sunlight and reaches the earth's surface. It has been used traditionally in combination with psoralens (PUVA) for the treatment of Vitiligo. UVA is the long wavelength UV light.
Ultraviolet light B (UVB):
Broadband UVB and Psoralens have been used to treat Vitiligo. PUVA is believed to be more effective. Currently narrow-band UVB is preferred and broad-band UVB has fallen out of favor.
A portion of the light spectrum not visible to the eye. Two bands of the UV spectrum, UVA and UVB, are used to treat Vitiligo and Psoriasis.
This disorder is characterized by regions of otherwise normal skin of nonpigmented white patches of varied sizes, often symmetrically distributed and usually bordered by hyperpigmented areas.