What is Vitiligo?
Directly After 1 Treatment
Close-up Before Treatment
Close-up Directly After 1 Treatment
Vitiligo is a condition which affects the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes by destroying cells
that produce the body's pigment. The most obvious signs of this condition are white patches on
the skin where the melanocyte cells have failed to deliver melanin. Although Vitiligo is not
a serious condition many of its sufferers do experience psychological problems and depression.
Researchers are still investigating methods for correct diagnosis, treatments, co-existent
diseases, and psychological side effects.
Our hair, eyes, and skin are given colour by a substance called melanin. This material is
constantly being broken down and replaced so it must be replenished and it is done by cells
called melanocytes. Melanocytes manufacture and distribute the correct amount of melanin, but
for people with vitiligo, this process gets disrupted.
Scientists have found vitiligo destroys melanocytes for unknown reasons and have therefore
categorised it as an auto-immune disorder because no external cause seems to be responsible.
In auto-immune disorders, the body mistakes itself for an enemy intruder and declares war on
those which it perceives to be "enemy" cells. The malfunctioning immune system continues attacking
the body’s cells which in this case are the melanocyte cells.
The most common symptom of vitiligo is light or white patches of skin anywhere on the body.
These are commonly found on areas that receive a lot of sunlight like the face, back of the
neck, forearms, hands, and feet. For the most part, the symptoms are the most serious aspect
of this condition and doctors direct their treatment toward this aspect.
Since vitiligo seems to affect young people more than older people, doctors tend to view the
psychological effects of the disease as a major issue. A person with a visible difference in
skin colouring, called hypo-pigmentation, may be influenced to see their body as
unhealthy, abnormal or unattractive.
Vitiligo affects at least one in every hundred people in countries throughout the world
including the UK. It affects people of both sexes equally and all races. It can begin at
any age though about fifty percent of people with vitiligo develop it before the age of
twenty five. Most of its sufferers are not born with it though they can develop it early
in childhood. In at least some people, it is the genes that they inherit which predisposes
them to developing the condition.
Although there are many so called remedies and treatments targeted at Vitiligo the
understanding seems to be a bit of a hit ‘n’ miss since no body really knows if the cures
actually work alone or whether the condition seems to find its own way to reverse itself.
Micropigmentation can be of great help!
Advanced Paramedical procedures have been of great benefit to those who suffer with vitiligo.
In many cases the pigment can be brought back by way of stimulating the melanocyte layer of
the skin in the hope it will start to once again generate melanin in the patchy regions.
Should the stimulation method not be successful, an advanced technician can expertly blend
the necessary skin-coloured pigments to create a pleasing camouflage to balance the affected
areas with the surrounding healthy skin. This usually requires a few sessions in order to
achieve satisfactory results as we need to see how the pigment has healed in the skin, how
much has been retained and also to create similar characteristics to blend with the surrounding healthy
skin. At Smudge-Free we offer treatments for Corrective Camouflage as well as training for the
The treatment images above are of a client who suffers with vitiligo on both breasts. The Areolae
have no pigmentation at all and vitiligo is also affecting the surrounding skin. So far the client
has received just one treatment and will soon be attending the Smudge-Free clinic for her second
visit. In all, we estimate three visits should give very satisfactory results. During the second
visit we shall see how much pigment has been retained in the nipple area and implant more pigment
accordingly. We shall also start to camouflage the areas around the nipples during the second
session. Further pictures of treatment progress will be posted as soon as they become available
so watch this space!