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Jody's Picks

The Best Rated Emailed Questions Recently A Received & Answered by Jody Embanks .


Jody Ebanks B.S.
Jody was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica in the West Indies. She moved to the United States at a young age and resided in Massachusetts.
In MA, she attended Boston College and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. Her interests/hobbies include the sciences as well as the arts (painting, drawing). Currently Jody is pursuing
a graduate degree at the University of Cincinnati in Cosmetic Chemistry in
conjunction with skin pigmentation science.
Jody helps answer the large number of inquries sent to the foundation

Send Your Emails To info@nvfi.org


March 21, 2008 Show all answers Hide all answers

What are the precautionary steps/measures to be followed to prevent vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a very dynamic disease and manifests differently among different people. The depigmentation may be exacerbated in different people for different reasons. Unfortunately there is no known prevention regimen for vitiligo. Yet, to offer some insight into your question, it is recommended for individuals who already have vitiligo to avoid chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or phenols as it may cause their vitiligo to spread. Furthermore, individuals with vitiligo are recommended to follow a proper sun protection routine. Finally, there have been studies that looks at an association between stress and vitiligo, but unfortuately there is no definitive answer.
My son Nathan has Vitiligo.He is 19 years old. He also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. We live in Sydney, Australia. I am after a couple of bits of information. Is there a foundation in Australia? Is there a cure or can it be stopped from spreading? Is there something available to disguise or hide? Would using a tanning solution be detrimental? I have searched the net and discovered vitatab etc , do they actually work? He is feeling the effects, I would appreciate any information.
1) Currently the National Vitiligo Foundation offers physician information for the United States, we hope someday to expand this list to serve as many people as possible.

2) As of now, there is no known cure for Vitiligo. I have attached information from the NVFI website (http://nvfi.org/pages/info_patient_handbook.php):

Will it Spread? Vitiligo may spread to other areas, but there is no way of predicting whether or where it will spread. In many cases, initial pigment loss will occur; then after several months, the number and size of the light areas become stable and may remain so for a long time. Episodes of pigment loss may appear again later on. Many vitiligo patients report that initial or later episodes of pigment loss followed by periods of physical or emotional stress, which seem to trigger depigmentation in those who are predisposed. Sometimes, depigmented areas may spontaneously repigment.

3) There are cosmetic options that can be used to mask Vitiligo. Two such options are Dermablend or Coverfx.

4) Proper tanning techiques are essential to prevent further damage to the skin. Please talk to your dermatologist to have them recommend a proper regimen on tanning and proper protection from Ultraviolet light (ie sunblock or clothing).

5) Unfortunately, I am unable to give information on the efficacy of products. A good way to see if a products are effective, would be to look at published data or clinical trials.
My daughter was diagnosed with Vitiligo at age four. She is now 15 and was just recently diagnosed with Diabetes. What can you tell me about the correlation between the two and do you know what percentage of people who have Vitiligo also have Diabetes?
Vitiligo is an auto-immune associated disease and it is often associated with other autoimmune related diseases such as Type-1 diabetes mellitus. Below I have cited two scientific articles that gives information on Vitiligo and Diabetes. In the articles studies are done on families with Vitiligo and the percentage therein that have diabetes.

Kemp, E. H., Waterman, E. A., & Weetman, A. P. (2001). Immunological pathomechanisms in vitiligo. Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine, 3(20), 1-22.

Laberge, G., Mailloux, C. M., Gowan, K., Holland, P., Bennett, D. C., Fain, P. R. et al. (2005). Early disease onset and increased risk of other autoimmune diseases in familial generalized vitiligo. Pigment Cell Research, 18(4), 300-305.
My 56 year old brother has developed vitiligo over his hands and scattered patches elsewhere. He has decided to become a vegan vegetarian, although I don't know if this is coincidental, or because of a belief that this will help. Do you have any information on the benefits of dietary changes, if any, in the halting of the progression of vitiligo?
Pertaining to celery containing vitamins that slow down Vitiligo, there is no scientific indication that this is a fact. However, dietary supplement with vitamins in general (that all vegetables have) has been anecdotally indicated in preventing the spread of Vitiligo (as oppose to curing it). The National Vitiligo Foundation is not in the position to suggest the safe amounts of these vitamins but recommend that you address this question to your physician and/or dermatologist.
I was just reading in the newsletter about 5 things to avoid if you have vitiligo and one of them is hair dye. I have been coloring my hair for years. I called the vitiligo center years ago and asked a women there who aswered the phone if hair color was not good for vitiligo and she said it was ok to color my hair. Some new information is out now? Allen Locklin had this information on page 4 of the new newsletter out. Could you please advise me......is there any hair color product that is ok that you know of? My hair is light blond. Thank you so much for helping me.
Vitiligo is a very dynamic disease and manifests differently among different people. The depigmentation may be exacerbated in different people for different reasons. Yet, to offer some insight into your question, it is recommended for individuals who already have vitiligo to avoid chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or phenols as it may cause their vitiligo to spread. Hair dyes that contain these ingredients may cause your vitiligo to spread. Unfortunately I am unable to recommend a product, but hopefully this information can help in your choice
My husband has had Vitiligo since the age of 19, in a moderate form. He is now 67 and has now been experiencing severe itching of his skin, mainly on his feet, ankles, legs, armpits and hands. He is very careful with shower water temperatures, not using hot water, he creams and uses lotions on his skin to lubricate it, watches his diet and intake of caffeine, all to avail. The itching drives him crazy. He itches so bad at times that when he scratches, he can break the skin. He suffers all year long. Is itching skin and extremely dry skin a side effect of Vitiligo and is there any thing that will help?
There have been reported cases of patients who have itchy skin associated with vitiligo. In your husband's case it may be a good idea to visit a dermatoligist that is familiar with the manifestation of vitiligo to ensure that he does not also have some distinct skin ailment. Moreover, they can recommend a skin treatment regimen that may help make the itching subside. The nvfi website offers a service that can help you find a dermatologist in your area that is familiar with vitiligo under the find a physicians tab. Best of Luck!
I have had vitiligo for many years. I am 58 years old. I take Lipitor for my high cholesterol. I understand that Lipitor surpresses the immune system. S vitligo is thought to be an auto immune system disease, is taking Lipitor bad for my vitiligo?
With response to your question, information on drug interaction is best directed to your physician/dermatologist as they are able to properly diagnose and follow-up with your condition.
Is tattooing a consideration to mask vitiligo? Are there any drawbacks to it? Is it recommended?
Cosmetic tattooing is a technique that has been employed to cover up depigmented patches of skin, an article in the NVF newsletter (p10 http://nvfi.org/downloads/vitiligo_newsletter_corrected_Optimized.pdf) addresses this topic. Yet it is important to remember that the process of vitiligo spreading is still unknown, but as stated on the NVFI website ( http://www.nvfi.org/pages/ask_experts.php) : Does skin that is injured or stressed have a greater tendency to develop vitiligo? The normal appearing skin of a person is in truth not really normal. With special microscopes investigators have shown that all skin in a person with vitiligo is altered. So any injury -- an abrasion, a cat scratch, a surgical procedure -- can spread the vitiligo. So, there may be a possibility of exacerbating the condition. Unfortunately, I am unable to recommend a treatment option for Vitiligo, please consult your physician or dermatologist.
I have a question regarding the skin disease Vitiligo. Lets say someone has Vitiligo on some area of their body eg hand, will the particular area suffer permanent loss of pigment or could the loss of pigment 'move' around the body so to speak?
The depigmentation involved in vitiligo often manifests around the mouth, nose, eyes, genitals and at joint regions such as the fingers, elbows and knees. Yet it is not regulated to those areas. Vitiligo can spread to other regions of the body and start depigmenting it as well. In vitiligo the pigment producing cells are destroyed but there are treatment options to help the depigmented legions regain their color.
I obtained your email from the vitiligo foundation. I have vitiligo since I am 13 years old. I am 63 years old and I have already more than accepted who am am. However I still want to look good since I am still working as a teacher. I have been looking for good make up for my face. I have tried many products, but I am not happy with the results. Can you recommend something for my face. Thank you for your time.
A similar question was asked beforeand i'm going to forward that answer to you: Dermablend is an excellent cosmetic company with products specifically designed for people with Vitiligo. Another excellent line of products is produced by Cover Fx. These products were specifically developed for numerous dermatological problems including Vitiligo. The web site for Cover Fx is: http://www.coverfx.com Also, it may be helpful to remember that the color in the face is not totally uniform so color mixing may be the most effective way to get a more natural look. (ie: a slightly darker shade around the eyes as compared to the rest of the face)
I have vitiligo in 3 spots ( underneath my left lip , a little bit on my left cheek, I little bit on my left upper lip and a little bit in the left side of my nose)since march 2007 , I started treating it in May 2007 when it really got worst. I was given the elocom cream which did not work as I expected. I change my treatment in august this year for a natural treatment ( pills and a cream oil) , the treatment seem to be working fine. I have not see any new spots comming out since taking the pills and with the oil i have seen my spots turning from pink to more of a skin colour.

Now here is my question , I have a light brown skin ( i am originally latino but lived in canada for 8 years so i got lighter over the years i guess) anyways the colour that i am seeing is lighter than the colour in the rest of my face ( more like a white person colour). I am wondering if this is the normal proccess? would it eventually get darker? is my vitiligo comming bacK?? i am a little worry , since this is the first time i have vitiligo i have not idea what is the repigmentation proccess

Also could you please tell me what is the best treatment right now and how long it takes to get results.
There is variability in how well re-pigmentation occurs in different individuals.

There is information on the NVFI website under the heading Vitiligo Treatment Protocol (http://nvfi.org/pages/treatment_protocol.html) that is applicable to your specific question. Below I have highlighted key information.

In a treatment option using a combination of topical medications and one form of ultraviolet light.... It should be recognized that at best 75% of those treated with get some or much of the color back. It is unusual to get total repigmentation. For those with bilateral vitiligo, it is possible that some or all of the repigmentation will be lost at a later date after therapy is stopped. Maintenance therapy usually is not recommended.
I have a friend who has vitiligo. She's had it since she was about 10 years old and she's now 24. She only had it on her eyelids until a few years ago when it appeared on her elbows as well. She's worried that it will spread to more parts on her face some time in her life. How long does it typically take for the outbreaks to stop appearing? She's doing the UVA treatment right now but that is giving her sunburns. Will she still be able to continue the UVA treatment even with the sunburns? Thanks for yours help!
Vitiligo is a very dynamic disease, and manifests in many different ways making it very difficult to predict if, where or when it will spread.

I have included some information from the NVFI website ( http://nvfi.org/pages/info_patient_handbook.html#_2 )

Will it Spread? Vitiligo may spread to other areas, but there is no way of predicting whether or where it will spread. In many cases, initial pigment loss will occur; then after several months, the number and size of the light areas become stable and may remain so for a long time. Episodes of pigment loss may appear again later on. Many vitiligo patients report that initial or later episodes of pigment loss followed by periods of physical or emotional stress, which seem to trigger depigmentation in those who are predisposed. Sometimes, depigmented areas may spontaneously repigment.

UVA treatment is done under the supervision of a licensed dermatologists familiar with treating Vitiligo. If your friend is concerned about the progression of the treatment, she should talk about this with her dermatologist, as they are most familiar with your friends specific Vitiligo.
I AM A 50 OLD MALE AND I'M A VITILIGO SUFFERER FOR ABOUT 25 YEARS. I JUST LOOKED INTO A PRODUCT FROM NEMTREX. ITS A FOAM CREAM THAT SUPPOSE TO BRING BACK PIGMENTATION TO THE AFFECTED SKIN. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THIS PRODUCT. HAS YOUR FOUNDATION LOOKED INTO THIS. IF SO IS IT A GOOD PRODUCT. HAS ANYTHING WORKED?IS THERE ANY PRODUCT OR MEDICATION THAT WORKS?
With respect to your questions on the product from Nextrex, unfortunately we are unable to give information on the efficacy of products on the market. As you probably already know, Vitiligo is a very complex skin disorder that manifests differently in distinct individuals. Currently, there is no cure for vitiligo but there are different treatment options available. Working with your dermatologist you will find the most approprtiate treatment option(s) that may alleviate some of the depigmentation.

The following list are for a range of Vitiligo severity and not all will apply to your specific case.

OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT
Sunscreen

Makeup: - DyoDerm Vitadye (stains) - Covermark, Dermablend Repigmentation: Topical steroids used cautiously on face and intertriginous areas Immunomodulators: tacrolimus or pimecrolimus used with topical steroids Natural sunlight in sub erythemal doses Narrow band ultraviolet light or excimer lasers Tanning parlors with assistance of dermatologist PUVA: Topical, Oral-8-MOP (Indoor only) is indicated only for the more complex cases where repigmentation is necessary and all other therapy has been unsuccessful. Surgical therapies are available for carefully selected patients, especially those with focal or segmental vitiligo. Depigmentation: - Monobenzylether of hydroquinone it should be assumed this is permanent and irreversible but some repigmentation can occur following sun exposure.) It takes several years to depigment the face, neck, hands and arms. Best of luck!
My name is Joe I am a 54 year old male with vitiligo. It has had a major impact on my life. Not a good one obviously. I have tried different ways to cover it up, but none work well. To cover it on my hands I use a spray tan thing. It covers it up some what. In the last year or so it has spread to my face. It has got to the point I don't like leaving the house. I am tired of people staring at me or kids pointing and asking their mother what is wrong with that man. I know there are no cures, but any thing that might give me some hope. I don't have any right now and it is hard to go on from day to day. I am single and feel no woman could ever love me for the way I look so I don't even bother to try. I've had enough rejection and embarassment in my life due to this disease.Any ideas that might help me cover it up on my face? Thanks for listening. take care
To help with covering up the depigmented parts of the skin there are cosmetic lines that are available a few include Dermablend a cosmetic company with products specifically designed for people with Vitiligo. Another line of products is produced by Cover Fx. These products were specifically developed for numerous dermatological problems including Vitiligo. The web site for Cover Fx is: http://www.coverfx.com

Also, it may be helpful to remember that the color in the face is not totally uniform so color mixing may be the most effective way to get a more natural look. (ie: a slightly darker shade around the eyes as compared to the rest of the face)

Furthermore, As of now there is no known cure for Vitiligo, but there are treatment options. Below is a brief overview of treatment options. I suggest that you work with a dermatologist or physician who is familiar with your Vitiligo. They are able to suggest what treatment(s) are best to help with the repigmentation.

The following list are for a range of Vitiligo severity and not all will apply to your specific case.
OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT Sunscreen Makeup: - DyoDerm Vitadye (stains) - Covermark, Dermablend Repigmentation: Topical steroids used cautiously on face and intertriginous areas Immunomodulators: tacrolimus or pimecrolimus used with topical steroids Natural sunlight in sub erythemal doses Narrow band ultraviolet light or excimer lasers Tanning parlors with assistance of dermatologist PUVA: Topical, Oral-8-MOP (Indoor only) is indicated only for the more complex cases where repigmentation is necessary and all other therapy has been unsuccessful. Surgical therapies are available for carefully selected patients, especially those with focal or segmental vitiligo. Depigmentation: - Monobenzylether of hydroquinone it should be assumed this is permanent and irreversible but some repigmentation can occur following sun exposure.) It takes several years to depigment the face, neck, hands and arms.








 


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