With the relationship of Covid-19 and Long Covid to the immune system, we understand there will be concerns for vitiligo patients. Research is ongoing but as the video suggests, apart from increased stress, no direct links have yet come to light.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune related pigmentation condition, which affects approaching a million people in the UK. This can appear on any part of your body including the genital area, particularly the scrotum and penis shaft.
Genital vitiligo isn’t contagious, neither is there any effect on the function of your penis. The condition can still have a notable downside for self esteem, which is understandable and warrants good medical care.
Some irritation can occur before the irregularly shaped, pale patches typical of vitiligo appear on your skin. From that point they tend to lack physical symptoms, unlike other conditions which can appear similar.
Forms of tinea infection are one possibility, along with lichen sclerosus, which commonly occurs on the genitals and brings light, or white spots on the skin. This is likely to cause more pain and skin cracking but can be confused with vitiligo.
An experienced consultant dermatologist will normally be able to differentiate vitiligo from other conditions, although trigger conditions such as lupus, diabetes, or thyroid issues need to be considered.
A blood sample may make sense, possibly further tissue testing, discussion on your family medical history. Investigation should be thorough but in most cases, vitiligo can be quickly confirmed and treatment begin.
Genital Vitiligo Treatment
All sound medical care should be based on maximum achievement with minimal intervention, not least for a condition in such a sensitive area.
Specially formulated creams can help to re-pigment the skin, or medication which controls the immune system. The best option will be chosen for your condition, although our London clinic offers an up to date alternative.
Laser treatment for skin conditions has progressed and the narrowband Excimer laser has proven ideal for vitiligo treatment.
Other light, or laser treatments are possible but the Excimer avoids exposure to longer wavelengths of ultraviolet light. A safety measure in all cases and a particularly valuable one when treating the penis, or scrotum.
Patients need to be able to attend regularly, as several sessions can be needed. They do however tend to prove valuable, in treating vitiligo and helping to restore the natural skin texture in the genital area.
Considering aesthetic outcomes alongside core medical needs is important in treating male dermatology conditions. Please get in touch if we can offer advice, or arrange a time for you to visit a consultant.