Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition in which the personís pigment making cells, called melanocytes, in the skin, as well as the tissues, known as the mucous membranes that line the inside of the mouth, nose, genital and rectal areas, and the retina of the eyes, are destroyed. As a result, milky white or light pink patches of skin appear on different parts of the body. The hair may also turn white/grey that grows in areas affected by Vitiligo.
Vitiligo Vulgaris (which means common vitiligo) is the usual type of Vitiligo. Variant types include linear, segmental, trichrome and inflammatory Vitiligo. In Vitiligo Vulgaris, the smooth, milky white patches are widely distributed on the affected personís body. In order words, the small patches of de-pigmentation are spread in a shower pattern admixed with normal skin in segmental or acrofacial pattern. This is the most common type with bilaterally symmetrical lesions, predominantly distributed over face, neck, torso, fingers, toes, palms, soles and facial orifices.
Due to wide spread of disease it is generally difficult to treat all the parts equally and the treatment may take years. In addition, surgery may not be an option for patients of Vitiligo Vulgaris. However, rarrow band UVB is succeeding psoralen and UVA irradiation as the main treatment of Vitiligo Vulgaris in several European countries. Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency in some vitiligo patients has prompted researchers to investigate the efficacy of these vitamins in the treatment of vitiligo. The research confirms that narrow band UVB phototherapy is an effective treatment for vitiligo and shows that co-treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid does not improve the outcome of treatment of vitiligo with narrow band UVB phototherapy.