An Integumentary Disorder
Paul is 38 years old. Paul was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism five years ago. He has recently noticed white patches on only one side of his body. He has also noticed premature graying of his eyebrows and eyelashes. He has been diagnosed with vitiligo.
- Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which the melanocytes die and stop producing melanin, the pigment that gives hair and skin color
- The areas affected become lighter and whiter because of the lack of pigment
- Hyperthyroidism is often linked with vitiligo. This is a disorder when the thyroid gland is overactive and makes excess amounts of thyroid hormones and T-cells. This excess of hormones usually results in increased metabolic rates and weight loss. However, in some cases, the T-cell lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, mistake the melanocytes for a pathogen and destroy them, resulting in vitiligo.
Prognosis and Dealing with the Disorder
All of the following are types of treatment to attempt to partially restore pigmentation
A topical corticosteroid that controls inflammation and helps restore the pigmentation
Mini skin grafts of non-affected skin to replace the affected
Combine a drug called psoralen with light therapy (photochemotherapy) to return color to the light patches. (1976)
Grafting unaffected skin to replace to affected to provide melanocytes to to area. This is the most recent form of treatment and came to light in 2012
Another type of treatment is bleaching normal colored skin with a drug called Benoquin, to create an even skin tone, keeping the lighter patches from standing out as much.
Famous Vitiligo Patients
For further information, either visit Vitiligo Support International at their website (https://www.vitiligosupport.org/contact.cfm) or with the information listed below.
Vitiligo Support International
P.O. Box 3565
Lynchburg, VA 24503
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"New Surgical Techniques Hold Promise for Treating Vitiligo." New Surgical Techniques Hold Promise for Treating Vitiligo. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016. <https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/new-surgical-techniques-hold-promise-for-treating-vitiligo>.
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