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Vitiligo is a long term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. The patches of skin affected become white and usually have sharp margins. The hair from the skin may also become white. Although this disease is not life threatening or contagious, the disfigurement of vitiligo can be devastating to its sufferers, especially the ones with darker skin tone.
There are certain treatment options that can help.
- Topical preparations of immune suppressing medications, creams and steroids are considered to be first-line vitiligo treatments.
- Next option is to expose the affected skin to UVB lamps with the phototherapy treatment at home or get the Ultra violet (UVA) treatment at a hospital.
- In extreme cases of extensive vitiligo the option to de-pigment the unaffected skin may be considered to render the skin an even colour.
- However, in mild cases, vitiligo patches can be hidden with makeup or other cosmetic camouflage solutions. If the affected person is pale skinned, the patches can be made less visible by avoiding tanning of the unaffected skin.
Camouflage Treatment In Vitiligo
Camouflage is derived from the French word, ‘Camoufler’ which means ‘to blind’ or ‘veil’. Also known as protective concealment, it means to disguise an object in plain view, for the purpose of concealing it from something or someone. Cosmetic camouflage is the application of make-up creams and/or powders to conceal color or contour irregularities or abnormalities of the face or body. It was pioneered during the Second World War to help pilots who were badly burnt by making use of plastic surgery and camouflage cream. These creams did not camouflage the person but were used to conceal blemishes on the skin so that they were not obvious. This kind of remedial cosmetic skin camouflage is defined as being the ‘the art of concealing a discoloration, blemish or scar with the application of specialist camouflage creams that are matched to the surrounding skin tone.’ Nowadays, it is used to conceal abnormalities from various dermatological disorders, especially vitiligo.
Types of Camouflage
Camouflage may be permanent or temporary.
- Remedial cosmetic cover creams help conceal the blemish of vitiligo at least temporarily. A high concentration of pigment is incorporated into water–free or anhydrous foundations to give a color that matches the patient’s skin, thereby concealing vitiligo patches.
- Permanent camouflage is obtained with a cosmetic tattoo. Unlike pigments used for ritual or symbolic tattoos, cosmetic tattoos are inert iron oxides that are available in more than 15 shades. The color is implanted into the dermal layer with specialized techniques and cannot be washed off.
Camouflage improves the appearance of the individual, as the focus is no longer on the discoloration that the person wishes to hide, thereby improving their confidence and self-esteem. This makes camouflage the most popular treatment option in vitilgo. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.