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Ask A Skin Doctor: Lip Vitiligo

Dear Doctor

Sir, what happen on my lips ..

I’ll too much doctor says this nothing it is only discoloration is it true?

lip vitiligo

Dear Patient

Your symptoms are suggestive of lip vitiligo.

Treatment of Lip Vitiligo

The treatment of lip vitiligo involves:

1. Applying Lip Balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect the hypopigmented areas from getting sunburnt.


2. Applying topical corticosteroids like Kenalog in orabase (triamcinolone acetonide in a carboxymethylcellulose paste). This can be applied twice a day.


3. Permanent camouflage therapy by micropigmentation which is simply medical tattooing of the lips using pigments which closely match the natural lip color. These pigments can be black, brown, red, yellow, blue or green. Lip micropigmentation has been shown to be an effective treatment of lip vitiligo which gives immediate results that are cosmetically acceptable. It is also a relatively safe procedure though allergic reactions to the pigments can occur.


4. Calcineurin inhibitors like Tacrolimus 0.1% (Protopic) are also applied on the lips to treat vitiligo.


5. Excimer lasers are also used to treat lip vitiligo. Usually around 10 sessions are required.


6. Lip vitiligo can also be treated surgically in patients who do not respond to medical treatment. In addition, the patches should not have increased in number or size for the past 2 years. The vitiligo should not have begun as a Koebner response or as a result of injury to the skin.

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