Vitiligo in Columbus, OH
The color of your skin is controlled with melanin. Sometimes the cells that produce melanin die off or stop working properly. The result is areas of skin with little to no color — a condition known as “vitiligo.” If you are embarrassed by the areas of light-colored skin caused by vitiligo, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham has the expertise to help you and others in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area.
What is Vitiligo?
Certain cells in your skin produce melanin, a substance that gives your eyes, hair and skin color. In the case of vitiligo, these specialty cells either die prematurely or stop producing melanin. Without an adequate supply of melanin, new skin cells do not have the proper color. As old skin cells die, they are replaced with lighter cells in a patchy pattern. The effect of vitiligo is most prominent in people with darker skin.
Vitiligo Treatment Benefits
Vitiligo cannot be cured, so Dr. Hicks-Graham will recommend treatments to keep the disease from spreading to surrounding skin and to improve the appearance of the infected skin.
What Areas Can Be Treated for Vitiligo?
Vitiligo can affect any part of your body that relies on melanin for color, including your hair, skin and eyes. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hicks-Graham will focus treatment on vitiligo of the skin. The condition may affect:
- Several areas of your body (the most common type, known as generalized vitiligo)
- One area or side of the body, known as segmental vitiligo
- Localized areas of the body
What Can I Expect From Vitiligo Treatment?
The overall goal of treatment for vitiligo is to keep the condition from spreading to healthy skin. Only in rare cases does the skin return to a normal color.
Vitiligo Treatment Preparation
The discoloration of your skin may be caused by several factors, so Dr. Hicks-Graham will review your personal and family medical history to rule out any other skin conditions. You should be prepared to discuss:
- Current medications and supplements
- When you first noticed the discoloration
- Changes to the areas of skin since it was first noted
- Steps you have taken to resolve the problem on your own or with other medical professionals
Vitiligo Treatment Recovery
Vitiligo is often treated with a combination of medications to control the condition and treatments to improve skin color. Medications may include:
- Anti-inflammatory topical creams
- Vitamin derivatives
- Immune-suppressing medications
- Light therapy
- Laser treatments
In the most severe cases, Dr. Hicks-Graham may recommend removing the color of the remaining skin, a procedure known as depigmentation. Other options for advanced cases of vitiligo are:
- Tattooing to color the skin (micropigmenting)
- Skin grafts
- Blister grafts
How Much Does Vitiligo Treatment Cost?
Treatment for vitiligo may be covered by your medical insurance. Our patient coordinator will discuss your out-of-pocket costs after your consultation. Payments can be made by cash, check, major credit card and CareCredit® financing.
Is Vitiligo Treatment Right for Me?
Vitiligo is primarily a cosmetic concern, but the disease can spread to other areas of your face and body. We recommend that you speak with Dr. Hicks-Graham to learn about your individual case and treatment options.
If you have patches of light-colored skin, contact us to schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham. She has helped many people like you in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area learn more about vitiligo.
When your skin cells stop producing melanin, you may develop areas of light-colored skin, known as vitiligo. The cosmetic appearance of the condition can cause people in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area to feel embarrassed and self-conscious. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham is uniquely qualified to help you understand vitiligo and ways to treat the problem.