Dr. Vivekananda Bhat MBBS, MS., Consultant Cosmetic Surgeon. Having 14 years of Experience in Cosmetic Surgery
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Does Vitiligo Spread From One Person To Another?

Vitiligo, although harmless is more of a social disease. The white patches are seen as a taboo by many who misunderstand it as a communicable skin disease. It is a medical fact that Vitiligo does not spread from one person to another. But still, Vitiligo patients often undergo social anxiety and emotional stress due to their physical appearance and the way they are treated by their peers and society which results in loss of self-confidence and seclusion. It becomes important for them to seek Treatment for Vitiligo or come with a coping strategy to cover up their white patches and live a normal life.

Is Vitiligo Contagious:


What really is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is the depigmentation of skin causing white patches to occur on different parts of the body.  The quantity and size of these patches can vary from very big patches covering the entire limbs, face, back to smaller patches that can be easily concealed with clothing or cosmetic products that blend the patches with the tone of the skin.

Vitiligo affects social life

Many patients express the fear they face when going out of their houses. They are constantly reminded of their unusual appearance by people who refuse to shake their hands or sit next to them. Due to inadequate awareness about Vitiligo, people do not realize that this condition is not contagious. Vitiligo patients must develop ways to inform and educate their peers about how harmless Vitiligo is to others, to be able to create a favorable social environment around them.

Is Vitiligo Curable?

Currently, there is no medication or treatment developed by medical science that can cure Vitiligo.  The most the patients can do is conceal the spots and take measures to stop it from spreading. It is known that Vitiligo is more aggravated in body parts exposed to direct sunlight and prone to physical abrasion.  Vitiligo patients are advised to wear full clothing to protect from UV rays and avoid activities that may cause their skin to rub violently like getting tattoos.

What is the treatment of Vitiligo?

The treatment for Vitiligo is targeted towards restoring the color of the patches.  Choice of treatment depends on factors like location, size, and numbers of white patches on the face.

Although there is no set standard for treating Vitiligo and not every treatment option will show the same result in different patients, patients seek a treatment that gives long term solution with minimum side effects for a better appearance of the face.

Medical treatment options include

skin creams, oral medicine, treatment using Ultraviolet A(UVA) light(PUVA), discoloration of surrounding skin area and surgical options like skin grafting.

The cost of each treatment varies as treatment options like surgery and UVA are more expensive compared to skin creams and medicine. Many patients often combine different therapies for better results.