We have had many phone calls this week about PC-KUS and Gray Hair. PC KUS is Pseudocatalase developed by K.U.S. (Karin U. Schallreuter) in Germany and the UK. It’s been around for many years as a treatment for Vitiligo but never, to my knowledge for a ‘cure’ for gray hair. To be honest this does appear to be a giant hoax. Continue reading
Dr. Raymond Boissy Medical Researcher and Professor with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine sits down with the National Vitiligo Foundation to answer the questions of it’s members.
Dr. Boissy is the President of the NVFI (National Vitiligo Foundation)
Read more at www.nvfi.org
Dr. James Nordlund a Dermatologist who specializes in vitiligo at Group Health Associates in Cincinnati answers one of the National Vitiligo Foundations’ frequently asked questions.
Don’t forget to visit www.nvfi.org
Narrow Band Ultra Violet B Light is a relatively new technology on the vitiligo front. In the past, most doctors have used the PUVA system, which involved the use of Ultra Violet A light exposure and the taking of Psoralen pills. However, side effects for many people were unbearable. Narrow Band UVB light panels and cabinets solve the problems of over-exposure to ultraviolet by maximizing delivery of narrow-band UVB radiation (in the 311-312 nanometer range, the most beneficial component of natural sunlight) while minimizing exposure to superfluous UV radiation. Continue reading
Natasha Pierre is one of those people who make a difference. I received a call today from her and was intrigued by the commitment she has made to others who suffer from Vitiligo. She is the founder of Vitiligo Bond Inc. (www.vitiligobond.org) based in Atlanta.
VBI’s mission is to:
- Make vitiligo (which a non contagious skin disorder which often times appears as a burn) a recognized word through awareness.
- Empower VBI members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.
- Support VBI members’ growth and show them how to, “Let their light shine”!
She focuses her energy at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VITILIGOBONDINC and of course the VBI website.
Vitiligo as many of you know has few if any uncomfortable, physical manifestations other than perhaps an itch or two for some people. It does, sometimes create very challenging social and psychological problems for those that have the disease and their families. It’s one of those diseases that you can’t catch from others. Some of us are predisposed to Vitiligo and all it takes sometimes a cut or a physical scrape and for many a major event such as a death in family or other serious psychological event.
We here at Amjo (www.HomePhotoTherapy.com) will be offering a discount on UVB Narrow Band products sold to friends and supporters of VBI. We are working on updating our support page and we will be creating a special link from the VBI website!
Make vitiligo (which a non contagious skin disorder which often times appears as a burn) a recognized word through awareness.
One of the unique things about Vitiligo is that the areas where the pigment has been lost because of Vitiligo glow or fluoresce under a Woods Lamp sometimes called Black Light. A typical Wood’s Lamp generates UV light at 365 nm (nano-meters) and can be used for many applications. When you’re watching those police shows on TV where forensic teams look for blood and other body fluids such as sperm, you are actually seeing the use of a Woods Light.
A little back ground. The Wood’s Light is named for Robert Wood. Professor Robert W. Wood is is undoubtedly the “Father of Ultraviolet Photography”. His work in the early 1900’s led to the use of UV light for forensic and medical skin and eye detection.
He was the first to record the ultraviolet fluorescence phenomenon which led to the common usage of UV light today for skin and forensic inspection. You can read a little more about Professor Wood at my www.woodslight.com website.
The Wood’s Lamp is used to detect many things today such as:
- Fungus/fungal infections
- Corneal Scratches.
- Foreign bodies in the eye.
- Blocked tear ducts.
- Tinea versicolor
- Microsporum Canis
- Criminology (for emergency rooms)
- Bacterial Infections.
- Many other skin conditions.
The user should take several precautions such as advising you not to look directly in the ultraviolet light or providing you protective goggles when examining the face. The Woods Lamp examination holds no risk and you won’t feel anything during the procedure.
Your doctor or healthcare provider will ask you to thoroughly wash or clean the area to be examined. Many creams, ointments and soaps contain materials that may fluoresce under black light so they must be eliminated. The inspection must be done in a darkened room. The skin with Vitiligo will glow whereas your regular or normal skin will not react or glow.
Fluorescence is not simply reflected light. Certain materials react to UV (Black Light) and create light when they react or “fluoresce”. Believe it or not, some folks in places like Arizona and the Southwest use black lights to search for scorpions. Yes! Scorpions glow or fluoresce under black light. Here’s a video you can watch of someone hunting scorpions with a black light. <Click Here>. Many minerals fluoresce under black light and many rock hunters will use black light to search for certain materials or minerals.
The company that my wife and I own for many years only sold UVA, UVB and UVB Narrow Band Systems at our www.HomePhotoTherapy.com website and as time went by we got more and more calls on wood’s lights and UVA Black Lights and we decided to create the www.WoodsLight.com website and begin selling woods lights and black lights for a wide range of applications. This has been one of our more successful spin-off websites.
We now carry
- Hand Held Woods Lights
- Small Battery Powered unit
- Woods Lamps for use in Hospitals
- Export models for use outside the USA in 220V Countries
Our web store for woods lights can be found at:
PUVA is an older treatment method. It’s an acronym for “P”soralen and UVA. UVA is long wavelength ultraviolet and the upper layers of our skin are not affected significantly with UVA light as the long wavelengths penetrate quite deeply. To sensitize the skin a Psoralen is used either topically (rubbed on) or orally (swallow a pill or liquid). Psoralens taken internally can cause nausea, liver toxicity and other challenges. If you are prescribed PUVA then your doctor will do some blood tests to determine if liver toxicity could be a problem.
UVB Narrowband has several advantages over PUVA
- No Concurrent Drug Therapy such as Psoralen is needed.
- There much less risk of sunburn over UVB Broadband or PUVA
- Lower skin cancer risk
- No protective eyewear needed FOLLOWING exposure (Psoralens increase the eye’s sensitivity to UV and for 24 hours following treatment with PUVA
- Vastly reduced premature aging of the skin which is prevalent in PUVA.
The mechanisms that help with the repigmentaion of the skin for people with Vitiligo are not obvious to the lay person or perhaps some of the medical folks out there. The question has arisen countless times and recently I was chatting with a good friend, Ray Boissy. Ph.D. (Chairman of the NVFI, the National Vitiligo Foundation). It’s serendipitous that the NVFI is based here in Cincinnati where we happen to live. I asked Ray to let me know his thoughts and I was surprised that an answer was forthcoming that I actually understood, well understood as only lay-people can understand the words.
His reply follows:
Repigmentation of vitiligo lesions can occur with UVB treatment. The mechanism underlying this pigmentation response is two-fold.
- UVB Narrowband exposure is mildly immunosuppressive for the skin so that in vitiligo an autoimmune response that may be occurring against the pigment cell could be suppressed and destruction of the pigment cell could be halted or slowed down.
- UVB NB can promote pigment cell development and movement so that in the vitiligo lesion where there is no autoimmune response (either normally or after UVB suppression) stem cells for the pigment cells that reside in the hair follicle will be induced to develop and migrate out of the hair follicle and replace those that were lost in the lesion.
The news in (1) above was really a surprise as we’re often asked “Will UVB Narrowband stop the progress of my Vitiligo?” and now I can say “Perhaps it will!” This is really good news for the Vitiligo sufferer.
Practically speaking we tend to see great succcess with re-pigmentation of the skin in areas where we have hair or hair follicles. The last remaining pigment cells gather in the base of many hair follicles and when repigmentaion begins, perhaps in 40 to 60 treatments (on alternate days) one sees freckling start around a hair follicle and if there are sufficient numbers of hair follicles then as time goes by, the freckles grow and if all is well they merge and fill in an entire lesion. We do find that areas of the body where we have few or no hair follicles then repigmention is a challenge and for some impossible.
Members of the NVFI (National Vitiligo Foundation) can now enjoy significant discounts, up to 10% on selected UVB Narrow Band Phototherapy Products, including the Dermalight 80, the Dermalume 2X, the Handisol II, Panosol II and Panosol 3D products as well as the Foldalite III.
This is a new program, and only members of the National Vitiligo Foundation (Free Membership) can take advantage of this new program that offers discounts as follows:
- Panosol Products – 10% Discount.
- Handisol II Panel – 10% Discount
- Foldalite III – Flat Rate $500.00 Discount.
- Hand/Foot Units – 10% Discount.
- Dermalume 2X Wand – 10% Discount
- Dermalight 80 Hand Held Wand- 5% Discount.
To register with Amjo for this discount please:
We hope to see you there!
It’s unfortunate but Medicare do not consider the treatment of Vitiligo as Medically Necessary and do not provide insurance coverage for Home UVB Narrow Band systems. Medicare does provide some coverage for home UV (Ultraviolet) systems for the treatment of Psoriasis but not Vitiligo.
For Psoriasis one of their documents reads “For Ultraviolet Cabinets: >Covered for selected patients with generalized intractable psoriasis. Using appropriate consultation, contractor should determine whether medical/other factors justify treatment at home rather than at alternative sites, e.g., outpatient department of a hospital.”
Cigna and Aetna also exclude coverage for UVB Narrow Band Systems for the treatment of Vitiligo.