When your doctor makes a diagnosis of vitiligo, there are a number of factors he or she will look into. Besides your personal medical history, you will be asked about your family’s medical history, in particular, if any family member has vitiligo.
Before Receiving a Diagnosis of Vitiligo
After discussing your medical history, you will probably be given a physical exam to rule out skin diseases such as psoriasis and dermatitis. Furthermore, since most individuals who have a vitiligo diagnosis suffer from an autoimmune thyroid disease, your doctor will most likely schedule you for a blood exam as well. If your thyroid is discovered to be unhealthy, your physician will prescribe treatment to control it.
Using a special ultraviolet light, your physician will determine if the affected skin is indeed vitiligo. Also, a biopsy of the affected skin will be administered. Other exams your doctor will probably advise you to get if you receive the diagnosis are an eye test and a hearing evaluation. Usually, people living with vitiligo have the possibility of losing their hearing and suffering with eye inflammation.
The vitiligo diagnosis will be made if your physical exam shows white patches on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, in particular, your hands, face, arms, feet, and lips. Some of the additional signs and symptoms of vitiligo include:
- Premature graying (usually before 35) of the hair, eyelashes, and eyebrow
- Loss of color inside the mouth
- Patches of discolored skin around the navel, genitals, and rectum
The severity of vitiligo varies differently with each individual. While some people with vitiligo have patches that stop forming without treatment, other lose the pigment in their skin all over their body parts. It is important to see a medical professional at the first sign of skin discoloration.
After a Vitiligo Diagnosis
After it is confirmed that you have vitiligo, you and your physician will discuss treatments and medications to assist in restoring your skin color. Since results from vitiligo remedies are subjective, your doctor might suggest you start with using cosmetics or self-tanning to cover your discoloration until a treatment routine is discovered that works for you. Furthermore, even if you use one of the many topical ointments or oral medications for your vitiligo, it can take months before any coloration is seen on your affected skin.
Along with your doctor, you will decide what type of treatment will work for you and make you the most comfortable. In addition to topical ointment and phototherapy, a huge number of people with vitiligo are treating their illness with alternative medicine, using natural herbs such as ginkgo biloba, margosa leaves, and coconut oil. These forms of treatments have proven to be effective and work well to help in the restoration of skin color. However, whether you decide on traditional treatment or alternative medicine, you should notify your physician on any remedies that you decide on.
Besides the physical aspects of being diagnose with vitiligo, there are also the psychological effect of having this disease. You can become self-conscious, stressed, and even depressed by the drastic change in your skin. It is imperative that if you are having emotional problems because of your vitiligo, to talk to your doctor so that they can refer you to a mental health professional that can help you overcome your distress. Additionally, your doctor can give you information on support groups for individuals living with vitiligo.
You can, on your own, perform an internet research on the disease. You should become knowledgeable on all of the treatment options that are available to you so you can have a voice in what steps you need to take in your treatment routine. Finally, connect with family and friends to get support and love.
When you receive a vitiligo diagnosis, it might feel like the end of the world, but it is not. With the new information and developments in vitiligo remedies, you can look and feel more like yourself sooner than you realize. You don’t have to be embarrassed about your skin, but can continue to live your life the way you want.
There are several do-it-yourself remedies for vitiligo you can try at home. After years of trial-and-error, and research, author Michael Dawson has created a great source called the “Natural Vitiligo Treatment System” that focuses on natural and holistic remedies for curing vitiligo fast.