Vitiligo is a common acquired in which pigment cells (melanocytes) are destroyed, resulting in irregularly shaped white patches on the skin. It affects all races, but is especially cosmetically obvious in dark skinned races.
Treatment is possible for vitiligo, though improvement is typically slow and gradual. Certain areas such as the face usually respond well to treatment, whereas other areas respond less well. Camouflage treatments can be used to disguise the condition, and can be combined with medical treatments. The latter include prescription creams (potent topical corticosteroids plus calcineurin inhibitors), phototherapy, and some surgical or grafting procedures.
The typically most effective treatment is a combination of topical treatments with narrowband UVB phototherapy. Phototherapy needs to be continued two to three times per week for a minimum of three months to be effective. At Toowong Dermatology, the cost of phototherapy is fully covered by Medicare.