My Vitiligo Story: Part 1-Diagnosis and First Treatment

Hello, everyone. My name is Priyanka, and I am fifteen years old. This is the story of my vitiligo journey. Vitiligo is an auto-immune disorder where the immune system attacks pigment-producing cells, known as melanocytes, resulting in lighter patches of skin. In January 2017, I noticed my first spot, which was at the corner of my mouth. I didn’t think much of it, as we went to a first doctor who diagnosed me with pityriasis alba, a skin condition that results in red patches, followed by areas of lighter coloration. However, it wasn’t until later in the year as I was ending seventh grade, that I was diagnosed with segmental vitiligo, a type of vitiligo that is confined to a specific area and doesn’t cross the midline of the body. In August 2017, I started biweekly treatment at the hospital for my spots, using the XTRAC Excimer Laser, which uses UV light to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and vitiligo. During this treatment, a laser is focused on a certain area of the skin (no more than 1.5” in diameter) and a certain number of millijoules of electricity is inputted into the machine. The laser is then shone for a couple seconds on each spot that needs to be treated.

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