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Photo courtsey of Henry Ford Health System

Photo courtsey of Henry Ford Health System

Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes individuals to lose pigment.  The size and location varies with each person.  Vitiligo affects all races and ethnicities, but it is most noticeable in darker skin tones.  Loss of pigment occurs when melanocytes are killed by the body’s immune system causing the body to stop producing pigment.  There is no cure for this disease, it is not contagious, but can cause depression and low self-esteem in those suffering from the disease.

Dermatologists at the Henry Ford Hospital are performing tests on individuals using a treatment that is a combination of drug called afamelanotide and phototherapy.  Afamelanotide is a drug that induces pigmentation and phototherapy (ultraviolet therapy) using narrowband ultraviolet-B rays mostly used for those suffering with widespread pigment loss.  Results have shown significant improvement when both therapies are used together instead of using phototherapy by itself.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

“Vitiligo treatment holds promise for restoring skin pigmentation”. (2014). Science Daily, retrieved September 29, 2014, from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140917172741.htm