Pigmentation issues strike at any age, although a number of them, including vitiligo, can appear at an early age. The loss of your normal outward appearance is difficult for any of us, particularly so for a child.
When treating children for vitiligo in our London clinics, or for similar conditions, our consultants are aware of the importance their approach has, alongside their medical knowledge.
Confidence & Self Esteem
A child’s perception of their illness and of themselves matter. Interaction with others can be affected, especially other children, along with their ability to progress in a variety of ways.
A good clinician will appreciate this. They should be open and honest with patients of almost any age but share a duty to promote confidence, to help reduce low self esteem.
Our consultants do pursue what is in a sense an opportunity. Beyond manner, they have practical ways to help, from the way diagnosis and treatment are approached, to positive, reassuring discussion.
Vitiligi & Pigmentation Diagnosis
As mentioned above, understanding how a child feels about their vitiligo, about treatment, even seeing a doctor, are part of diagnosis. The diagnosis of pigmentation issues in a physical sense is often straightforward.
Most cases can be assessed with an experienced eye, if there are subtle changes to notably fair skin, an ultraviolet lamp helps. The need for intervention such as biopsies is quite rare.
Medical and family history will be discussed. Vitiligo is not entirely understood but a relationship to autoimmune conditions and familial links are quite widely accepted, perhaps to thyroid disease, or diabetes.
Treatment For Children
The two objectives are to stop progression of the disease and then to induce repigmentation. Treatments can accomplish both in tandem, although each case needs a specific treatment plan.
More so when treating children for vitiligo. Surgery is down the list for patients of any age, certainly so for children. The side effects of certain steroidal treatments may proclude them.
Corticosteroid creams remain an option, calcineurin inhibitors perhaps a better one, with less side effects. Either could be used in conjunction with, or replaced by safer treatments.
Phototherapy with ultraviolet A (also known as PUVA) can be effective, used alongside a medication called psoralen. Narrow band ultraviolet B requires no psoralen, although might be used with calcineurin inhibitors.
An Excimer laser is a further, safety minded approach, amongst others. We outline the main options here as we should but treatment for every child is unique.
Skin Care London Clinics
We offer consultation and treatment across a range of days, or hours, at clinics in Chelsea and Barnet. A consultant dermatologist, experienced in and trained in children’s dermatology will be available at either.
Vitiligo and similar pigmentation conditions do not tend to have a magical, 100% cure. Much can still be achieved with time and commitment, all our staff will provide both.
The understanding they offer when treating children is backed up by a scientific approach and the finest equipment. An approach patients of all ages deserve.
You may find the options below useful:
- Return to menu options for: Paediatric Dermatology.
- See the facilities in Chelsea: Central London Clinic.
- Visit our centre in Barnet: North London Clinic.
For any advice, or to arrange a dermatology appointment, call 020 3535 7850, or send us an email via the Make An Appointment button below.