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Philadelphia and Mainline Center of Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a disease manifested by loss of pigment in the skin. It is an acquired disorder that often runs in families. It is characterized by depigmentation or total lack of melanin pigment. It can occur in small localized areas or be widespread. Fifty percent of individuals develop the disease before the age of 20 and 25% develop the disease before the age of 10. The cause is unknown but is believed to autoimmune in nature. It is more commonly seen in individuals with endocrine disorders such as thyroid disease.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis can be made clinically in the presence of well demarcated areas of depigmentation found symmetrically over boney prominences such as the knees or around body orifices such as the mouth, eyes and perianal or periurethral area. When the diagnosis is unclear, a skin biopsy may need to be done.

MANAGEMENT

Patients with vitiligo must be advised to follow strict sun protection. The areas of skin affected by vitiligo cannot tan and will burn with sun exposure. Sunburns raise the risk of skin cancer. Also, when normal surrounding skin is tan the loss of pigment is more noticeable. Also, since vitiligo can be associated with endocrine disorders such as thyroid disease, blood tests to rule out an underlying disorder may need to be performed.

TREATMENT AND MEDICATION

Treatment options are influenced by the amount of skin involved and the location. Often a trial of treatment with a topical corticosteroid is the initial treatment choice. Topical immunomodulators such as Protopic Ointment or Elidel Cream have also been shown to be effective and are more appropriate for extended use on delicate areas. A series of narrowband ultraviolet light treatments (NB-UVB) have also been found to be very effective. The excimer laser delivers NB-UVB directly to specific skin areas without affecting normal surrounding skin. Ringpfeil Advanced Dermatology has an excimer laser and is proud to be able to offer excimer laser treatment to our patients. Excimer has come to be preferred over older light treatment modalities such as PUVA (psoralens plus ultraviolet A). The advantage of excimer over PUVA is shorter treatment times, decreased risk of phototoxic reactions, and the ability to use excimer in children, pregnant women and in individuals with kidney or liver disease since no oral medication is utilized. In cases where depigmentation due to vitiligo is very extensive, permanently removing all remaining pigment can be offered for cosmetic reasons.

COPING

For individuals who are self-conscious about vitiligo involving visible areas such as the face and hands, cosmetic products under the brand names of Covermark or Dermablend are available for camouflage. The National Vitiligo Foundation is an organization that can be a resource for educational materials and support groups.

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3977
Last updated: 11/10/2022 8:45 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

Would you recommend us?

definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%

Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%

The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%

Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%

Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

the doctor and assistant were very nice and the doctor very inormative and clear

#12021-12-07

The doctor and assistant were wonderful!!! So friendly and warm. I am so used to doctors being rushed AND condescending. This was a great change!!

#22022-10-21

Everyone was friendly, office was nice and bright, bathrooom was clean.

#32021-12-10

Doctor is extremely efficient and knowledgeable, and even discussed treatment for another condition -- my oral canker sores -- which nobody had ever mentioned previously. Also, the office is really lovely with nice music, rather than pical office music.

#42022-11-13

VERY efficient.I loved that.

#52011-05-09 10:24:13

Very little wait time, which is so appreciated! Very comfortable atmosphere. Really a wonderful appointment.

#62011-06-02 16:32:12

The medical assistant was very friendly and sat with me through the registration process to ensure my computer worked properly. The clinican was very patient and provided excellent care.

#72011-05-25 13:14:40

The doctor was very thorough and pleasant. Having Melissa take notes was an excellent strategy for covering so much information in a short amount of time.

#82022-02-09

Timeliness and attention.

#92022-08-22

the stafff and doctor were extremely friendly

#102021-12-21

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

I was a bit embarressed by not knowing more information regarding my parents history. I believe it would have been better handled if I were asked to please get more info and then let the dr's office know.

#12022-02-27

Everything was outstanding

#22011-11-18 16:18:36

You often have a long wait time in the room for the doctor. When she does come in it is not for a very long time.

#32010-08-23 17:00:56

You guys did great. This was a great experience for me

#42010-09-22 12:31:41

no recommendations necessary

#52022-07-21

nothing everything is fine as is.

#62022-11-05

I actually appreciated and was so very happy with all aspects of my visit.

#72022-09-18

Have an accessible examining table!!!

#82011-08-31 14:28:17

I wish the aesthetician was available earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon to accomodate working women.

#92022-09-06

Everything was great thanks!

#102011-02-25 11:46:15

Customer Rating : 4.6

Based on 351 ratings
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