The following self-care tactics may help you care for your skin and improve its appearance:
May 15, 2014
Protect your skin from the sun and artificial sources of UV light. If you have vitiligo, particularly if you have light skin, use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
You can also seek shade and wear clothing that shields your skin from the sun.
Protecting your skin from the sun helps prevent sunburn and long-term damage. A bad sunburn can make your condition worse. Sunscreen also minimizes tanning, which makes the contrast between normal and discolored skin less noticeable.
- Conceal affected skin. Concealing products may improve the appearance of the skin and help you feel better about yourself, especially if your vitiligo patches are on exposed skin. You may need to try several brands of makeup or self-tanners to find one that blends well with your normal skin tone. The coloring of self-tanning products doesn't wash off, but it gradually fades over several days. If you use a self-tanner, select one that contains dihydroxyacetone, as it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Don't get a tattoo. Avoid tattooing that's not related to treating your vitiligo. Damage to your skin, such as that caused by a tattoo, may cause a new patch of vitiligo to appear within two weeks.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Vitiligo. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Lebwohl MG, et al. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier, 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Whitton ME, et al. Interventions for vitiligo (review). Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003263.pub4/abstract. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Fleissig E, et al. Risk of sensorineural hearing loss in patients with vitiligo. Audiology and Neurotology. 2013;18:240.
- Silverberg JI, et al. Association between vitiligo extent and distribution and quality-of-life impairment. JAMA Dermatology. 2013;149:159.
- Valle Y, et al. Multidisciplinary approach to R&D in vitiligo, a neglected skin disease. Dermatologic Therapy 2013;25(suppl):1
- AskMayoExpert. Vitiligo (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Vitiligo. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/vitiligo. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Questions and answers about vitiligo. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Vitiligo/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens#.UbdQaJzm9lP. Accessed Jan. 6, 2014.
- Calcipotriene. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed Jan. 6, 2014.