Vitiligo, which has increased by 32% in 9 years, early treatment is important

Vitiligo is a skin disease where melanocytes, which produce pigment, are destroyed, resulting in depigmentation of the skin and white spots. The prevalence varies by country and race, but is said to be 0.5-1% of the total population. Vitiligo patients in Korea continue to increase, and according to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, from 49,561 in 2010 to 60,000 and 5,460 in 2019, an increase of more than 32% in 9 years. In Korea, awareness of vitiligo is low enough that there is a statistic that only 1 in 5 patients receive treatment. Vitiligo can lead to depression and social phobia, so proper treatment is essential.

There is a way to stop the progress of vitiligo which is still spreadingㅣSource: Getty Image Bank

Influence of external stimuli… It can lead to depression, so proper treatment is needed

Vitiligo is often affected by external stimuli such as friction or repetitive pressure. It often occurs on parts that protrude such as hands, feet, knees, and elbows, and often starts around the eyes, nose, mouth, lips, and genitals. It occurs most often between the ages of 10 and 30, and there are no symptoms such as itching or pain.
However, patients with vitiligo are prone to burns due to weak skin, and skin aging progresses rapidly. Retinal and iris pigment abnormalities may accompany it, and thyroid disease, diabetes, and hair loss may occur together. Due to the external characteristics, it can lead to psychological shrinkage and even depression and social phobia in severe cases.
The cause of vitiligo is still unclear. However, it is more common in people with a family history or certain autoimmune diseases (such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison’s disease, thyroid disease, lupus, and type 1 diabetes). It is known that the course of vitiligo is generally unpredictable and gradually worsens.

Vegetables and vitamin D are effective in preventing the worsening of vitiligo

Many people consider vitiligo as an incurable disease because there is no clear cause. According to the research results of professors Park Kyung-chan, Na Jeong-im, and Kwon Soon-hyo from the Department of Dermatology at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, it can Vitiligo can be cured with nutritional therapy. Since 2003, Professor Park Kyung-chan’s team has been treating patients with vitiligo, recommending a balanced diet, such as eating vegetables, along with popular treatments such as topical medication, excimer laser, and surgery, and taking folic acid and multivitamin prescriptions in the same time.
To find out the results of the operation, a survey was conducted on 111 vitiligo patients under the age of 18 who visited the hospital for vitiligo treatment between 2003 and 2013 and were treated for more than a year. As a result, 91% of the patients have improved, and More than half show an improvement of 50% or more. Professor Park Kyung-chan said, “Eating vegetables and supplementing with vitamins and folic acid to balance active oxygen in vitiligo patients seems to be useful in treatment.”

Vitamin D, obtained through ultraviolet B, has been proven to be associated with diseases such as vitiligo, psoriasis, and chronic urticaria, as well as research papers suggesting that it is associated with various skin diseases such as alopecia areata, atopy, allergy, warts, and herpes zoster. In January 2013, a research team at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School in Brazil revealed that high-dose vitamin D therapy helps prevent vitiligo from worsening in a ‘pilot study evaluating the effects of long-term high-dose vitamin D administration on the course of clinical vitiligo and psoriasis’.

Skin pigmentation due to vitiligo… Can be treated with a skin graft

Recently, a treatment has been developed that can restore the skin color of refractory vitiligo lesions. A research team led by Professor Kang Hee-young (Clinical Instructor Kim Jin-cheol) from the Dermatology Department of Ajou University Hospital and Director Kim Dong-seok from the Eureka Dermatology Clinic conducted a study to find out the effect of skin transplantation. The Skin Seeding Technique (SST) is a treatment that uses a 0.4-0.5mm micro punch to remove very fine skin from a normal skin stitch by stitching and transplanting the skin as if planting seeds or planting rice .
The research team performed skin transplantation on 83 patients with refractory pediatric vitiligo and examined the prognosis. As a result, more than 75% of the vitiligo lesions in 8 out of 10 patients achieved the therapeutic effect of restoring pigmentation, or skin color. In particular, the prognosis for treatment was better for lesions on the face and neck that did not spread for more than a year. Rice skin transplantation takes less than 30 minutes compared to conventional suction epidermal transplantation and is particularly effective for pediatric patients as it is painless. It is also worth noting that it can be performed in all areas, including joints and curved areas.

Dermatology Counseling Doctor Haidak Shin Jae-bin (Haenal Dermatology Clinic) said, “Because vitiligo tends to occur in traumatic areas, it is crucial to be careful not to get hurt,” he advised. In addition, “quitting smoking, antioxidants or fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants are also helpful,” he said.

Help = Haidaq Counseling Doctor Shin Jae-bin (Dermatologist at Haenal Dermatology Clinic)

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