- Broad-spectrum sunscreen is not enough when you have pigmented skin. It is vital to protect against visible light too. This can be done with iron-oxide containing sunscreens (ask you dermatologist about recommendations) and make up.
- Where you live may impact how much pigment you have on your face. Research has demonstrated the negative impact environmental pollution has on skin pigmentation. Those in smoggy, polluted cities will notice pigmentation and skin aging at an earlier age than their countryside-loving counterparts.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the pigment cells are attacked and killed by a specific part of the immune system which leads to patches of white skin. For more on vitiligo, click here.
What’s new in vitiligo?
- The microbiome of the gut may influence our skin. While much more research is needed to confirm these theories, some evidence suggests that the balance of gut bacteria on the skin may play a role in vitiligo. Decreasing unnecessary antibiotics and considering pro-biotics in those with vitiligo may be reasonable. Medical therapy including prescribed creams and phototherapy however, have the most amount of unbiased scientific evidence behind it so any pro-biotic would of course be used in conjunction with medical therapy.
- New treatments for vitiligo. JAK inhibitors and possibly IL-15 blockers are on their way to help those with vitiligo. Initial studies have proven to be exciting but phase two studies for JAK inhibitors and studies in humans for IL-15 blockers are on their way. Watch this space for new clinical trials available for patients.
Melasma is brown pigmentation that occurs most commonly on the face. Click here to read more about melasma.
What’s new in melasma?
- Recent research from Singapore suggests that those with melasma have an impaired skin barrier function. It is best to optimise barrier function with regular moisturising. So, don’t forget your moisturiser if you have melasma.
- Chroma Dermatology will be running a trial for a new cream (made in Switzerland) for the treatment of melasma. This trial will likely commence in January 2019 so watch out for more news on this just before Christmas.
The lectures I delivered were on laser treatment for pigment problems and how to diagnose and work up a patient with vitiligo.