Skin diseases are amongst the most unpleasant affections, as they cause related nervous disorders due to the highly obvious way in which they manifest. We live in a world where appearances and first impressions matter most, and people are oftentimes frustrated when they cannot raise to the standards of beauty, perfection and slimness all the magazines promote. Skin diseases evolve hand in hand with depression and isolation, making us feel unwanted and deeply flawed.
Vitiligo is a disorder that causes skin depigmentation and up until now doctors found it hard to come up with treatments that are consistently effective.
Michael Jackson is the most relevant example for vitiligo, as he struggled with its effects for years and was touched by serious as a side effect. The disorder made him a social outcast and drove him to extreme isolation.
According to a recent study, vitiligo can be cured with tofacitinib, a drug that is highly used in arthritis treatments. A 53 year old patient who benefited from the treatment was completely cured from the white spots covering her face, hands and body.
Five months proved to be enough for the patient to recover her natural skin appearance. The pigment had naturally returned to the patient’s face and traces of white spots had vanished almost entirely. The disease couldn’t be completely washed out though, as white spots still continue to exist on remote parts of the body.
Tofacitinib proves to be efficient in a wider range of affections, as researchers conducted a large study to prove that the medication could be used to treat hair loss as well.
Dr. Brittany Craiglow and Dr. Brett King worked together to discover the wondrous effects of the medicine while trying to manage and reconsider the treatment alopecia areata, that is hair loss provoked by the presence of a diffuse pattern. Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s own immunity system keeps the hair follicles away from producing hair.
Seemingly, there is a strong link between the hair loss affection and vitiligo, which made researchers go another direction with the study and conduct the experiment on vitiligo patients as well. The results showed efficiency after five months of treatment, with the patient showing signs of almost complete healing.
Vitiligo is also an autoimmune disorder, with the skin’s melanocytes, cells responsible with pigment production, being destroyed. As the body loses pigment, it also fails to protect itself from the harmful sun rays. Recent statistics show that more than 1.5 million patients suffer from vitiligo in the US only.
Image Source: cosmopolitan.co.uk