For many people with Vitiligo patience is a necessity.
There are not enough dermatologists here in the USA. The AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) does influence our universities and from what I’m told recommends maximums for number of med students in dermatology in each school, thereby limiting the number of derms and maximizing the salaries/incomes for the ones lucky enough to graduate.
A side effect of this is patients need patience while they are waiting for their first and possibly subsequent appointments. Over the years, I have spoken with hundreds and hundreds of folks who are waiting sometimes up to three or more months before they can get into see a dermatologist. Many times, once they get there they are often told that it’s only a cosmetic condition and not much can be done. Why a derm would say such a thing is beyond me. This is a disease that can play with the mind and can cause a loss of self esteem with many people. Not everyone with Vitiligo is comfortable in public with Vitiligo.
I also believe that many dermatologists shy away from treating Vitiligo because the treatments typically take months before the white areas begin to re-pigment and they and their patients become discouraged. Diseases, such as Psoriasis, Eczema and some others respond within a few days of the initiation of treatment giving immediate hope to the patient. With Protopic, Elidel and UVB Narrowband (UVB311) It’s unlikely that re-pigmentation will begin in less than 3 months and the progress of re-pigmentation can be slow. The only ‘instant’ remedy is the use of make-up or skin dyes to mask the white areas. On hot summer days, perspiration can be an issue causing the makeup to transfer to the nice white shirt or blouse you put on a few minutes ago.
The treatment of Vitiligo takes time and I’m afraid that the patient does need to be patient.
What have been your experiences?