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Lip Vitiligo

Dear Doctor

I attached my lips photo. In bottom lips color has changed. Its very slowly increasing. I found this one year ago. Can you please suggest what is this problem and can you please provide food habits required.

lip vitiligo

Dear Patient

This condition is known as Vitiligo.

The specific causes of vitiligo is not known but it is thought to be caused by an autoimmune process in which the body’s own cells attack and destroy the melanocytes which produce the skin’s pigment.

Non-Medical Treatment of Lip Vitiligo

The non-medical treatment of lip vitiligo includes the use of:


Applying lipstick can conceal the hypopigmented patches.


Permanent Camouflage Therapy

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.


Medical Treatment of Lip Vitiligo

The medical treatment of lip vitiligo includes the use of:

Topical Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids that are applied on the lips like Kenalog in orabase (triamcinolone acetonide in a carboxymethylcellulose paste) can be applied twice a day.


Topical Immunomodulators

Immunomodulators are substances which alter the response of the immune system and they can also be applied on the lips to treat vitiligo. Examples include Tacrolimus 0.1 % (Protopic).

The use of these medications should be combined with applying Lip Balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect the areas which are hypopigmented (lighter than the surrounding skin) from getting sunburnt.


Surgical Treatment of Lip Vitiligo

Lip vitiligo can also be treated surgically in patients who do not respond to medical treatment. Surgical treatment of lip vitiligo includes:

Excision and Primary Closure

In this procedure the white patches are cut out and the wound is closed with sutures (stitches). This method gives almost immediate results which are seen once the wound heals. The patient does not also need to be on a liquid diet like in some of the other surgical treatment procedures for lip vitiligo.


Punch Grafting

In this procedure the doctor uses a small punch-like instrument to remove the skin that has lost its normal skin color before replacing it with normal skin.


Suction Blister Grafting

In this procedure the doctor create blisters on the patient’s healthy skin and then removes the tops of the blisters and attaches them to the areas affected by vitiligo on the lips.

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