Though many of us don’t know, vitiligo can appear on different parts of the skin in various forms and patterns. Vitiligo is classified into multiple types depending on where the white patches are present and the pattern in which they are forming on the skin. Lip tip vitiligo is a common type of this disorder that requires special consideration and treatment.
In this post, let us try to learn more about lip tip vitiligo, its symptoms, treatment methods, and everything else you should know about it.
Lip Tip Vitiligo – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Vitiligo is the loss of pigmentation from certain areas of the skin resulting in white patches. The condition varies between affected individuals in several ways. It is generally not important to label what type of vitiligo a person has because most forms are treated similarly and have similar symptoms and progression. However, some practitioners favor classifying the condition to be able to understand how easy or difficult it is to treat.
The two primary types of vitiligo are local and generalized. Local vitiligo is when hypopigmentation is limited to one area of the body. It is further broken down into two types – focal and segmental. While segmental is a rare form of vitiligo in which the affected areas are on any one side of the body and not in symmetry, focal vitiligo involves spots concentrated in a single area. It can be either mucosal affecting only lips and genitals or lip-tip that affects lips, fingertips, and genitals.
The exact cause of lip-tip vitiligo is not yet identified and it is considered to be an autoimmune disorder occurring from loss of pigmentation. Some of the most common factors responsible for vitiligo include heredity, stress, skin trauma, and others. The prominent sign of vitiligo is the appearance of white patches on the skin. Depigmented patches are more commonly seen in areas exposed to the sun like hands, feet, face, and lips. Sometimes, the individuals affected by vitiligo may see premature graying of hair, beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
Lip Tip Vitiligo Treatment – How To Treat Vitiligo On Lips?
Though there is no permanent cure for vitiligo, several treatment options are devised to help improve the appearance of the skin and to reduce the progression of the condition. The earliest patches on the lips and fingertips are treated with topical treatments like sunscreens that protect the affected skin against sun exposure and slow down the spread of patches.
Some other treatment methods generally recommended for lip tip vitiligo include:
A common treatment option for lip tip vitiligo is exposure to ultraviolet B light. Sometimes, ultraviolet A light therapy is combined with psoralen, a plant-based substance for effective results on the affected skin.
This method is the most appropriate for lip tip vitiligo because the lip area can be delicate to treat. It is a type of tattooing where new pigment is implanted into affected areas. The process is effective but you may need to repeat after every few years to maintain the skin appearance.
When other therapies don’t seem to work, you may be advised to treat vitiligo with skin grafting that involves transplanting patches of skin from unaffected areas to areas of lost pigmentation. This method works best with smaller patches of lip tip vitiligo. However, skin grafting has its own possible complications like creating a cobblestone-like pattern and failure to regain pigmentation.
Just like skin grafting, blister grafting involves making blisters through suction on unaffected areas and transplanting them on depigmented areas to even out the skin. However, there are some side effects to this technique as well.
Apart from these treatment methods, you can consider making some lifestyle changes and adding supplements to reduce the risk of worsening your vitiligo. Light therapy can be used with supplements like folic acid, vitamin C, and micronutrients. Early stages of lip tip vitiligo benefit from a reduction in sun exposure and daily application of sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to prevent hyperpigmentation and tanning from sun exposure.
Early Vitiligo On Lips – What You Should Know?
Early white patches on lips may look like vitiligo but they may not always be vitiligo. There are several other conditions that cause these spots or patches and are easier to treat. So, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist to confirm whether it is vitiligo or something else. If your vitiligo affects just the lips and genitals, it is mucosal vitiligo.
Early vitiligo on lips can be treated with simple protective measures like using a lip balm with SPF to protect the lips from sun exposure. Loss of pigmentation from the lips can reduce the natural protection of the skin against the sun. Mild vitiligo on lips can also be handled by camouflaging the white patches with cosmetic makeup products selected to suit the skin tone and type. When applied correctly, these creams and makeup last for up to 18 hours and are waterproof.
Another effective treatment for vitiligo on lips includes prescription creams and ointments which are anti-inflammatories. Reducing inflammation can lower the spread of pigmentation loss and keep the vitiligo from spreading too much. Corticosteroids are more effective when vitiligo areas are widespread and are not advisable for use on the face. On the other hand, calcineurin inhibitors work better for smaller affected areas.
Though there are side effects known to these treatments, they can sometimes return the natural color of the affected skin as well. Topical treatments, however, take several months to work. They may not suit older adults and children because their skin is thin and sensitive.
Lip Tip Vitiligo Images
Lip tip vitiligo is not an uncommon type among those affected with this disorder. While there is no effective cure for the condition, it is important to consult your dermatologist to find out how you can reduce the progression and change the appearance of early white patches. Research in the field is increasing in an attempt to understand how vitiligo works and to find newer effective treatment options to reverse the loss of pigmentation.