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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: "Vitiligo" in early stage...Can it be cured?

 health_Godsgift - Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:49 am

Dear Doctor,

My wife is 8th month pregnant now and 3 months ago we notice white patches (depigmentation) on her skin at hands, legs and slightly at lips. Then, immediately we have consulted our local Dermatologist and diagnosed with “Vitiligo”. [She is also having premature graying of hair and there NO Family history of the disorder.] Dr. told that he can prescribe her (oral pills) medicines, until she finish breast feed her baby and suggested an ointment. Really this disappointed us a lot and we are afraid of spreading of pigments, meanwhile.

She is unable to cope with the fact that she has ‘Vitiligo’ and feels embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, or worried about how others will react. I’ understand her problem and trying to provide emotional support. But…

Please Doctor, tell us is there any latest drug to cure the Vitiligo problem? Is there any permanent solution? Or at least should get stopped, where it is now? What about her unborn baby inside her womb? Will this affect our sexual relationship and future pregnancy also? Because we don’t want our babies to suffer with the same disease, as she suffers now.

Also, tell us about the possible treatment choices and important medical care.

 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:17 pm

User avatar Hello,
There has been some indication that a medication called Phenytoin has been useful. If this is not advised during breastfeeding I doubt it will really make that much difference to wait until the baby is a year old to begin the treatment, if in fact she is a candidate for this or another drug. You should contact a teratogenic agency such as OTIS for more information about drug safety. Since they are not tested in pregnant or lactating women, many safe drugs are avoided because the labeling can't state "safe in pregnancy" without having tested it in pregnant or breastfeeding women. The doctor only has the PDR to go by (published by the drug manufacturer) but a teratoginic agency would have access to anecdotal information about the actual safety for use of the drug.

Approximately 1% of the population has this disorder and your wife might benefit from a support group or counseling to help her cope with the condition. Often others who have a disease like yours (your wife's) can give suggestions of what has made a difference to them.

It is believed that this disorder is caused by a combination of genetic and other factors so it would be impossible to say if the baby will be effected. Again, counseling might be in order here.

Best wishes.

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