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 clinic, 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 their 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 and laboratory tests is quite rare.
Medical and family history will be discussed. Vitiligo is not fully 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 natural repigmentation. Treatments can accomplish both in tandem, although each case needs a specific treatment plan.
More so when treating children for vitiligo. Surgery is some way down the list for patients of any age, certainly so for children. The side effects of certain steroidal treatments may also 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.
Treatment At Skin Care Network
We offer consultation and treatment on a range of days, or hours, at an established London clinic. A consultant dermatologist, experienced in and trained in children’s dermatology will be responsible for care.
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.