Dr VERONIQUE EMMENEGGER
To boost your self-esteem!
Characterised by skin depigmentation, vitiligo is a common dermatological problem. It affects 2 to 3% of the European population. Although considered benign, it can be a source of major complexes. Vitiligo often leads to a significant drop in self-esteem. It can even be a handicap in everyday life, particularly during sunny seasons. Because vitiligo patches lack pigment, they are no longer protected from the sun and quickly turn red. Sunscreen is essential to limit sunburn.
Initially, vitiligo most often affects a small depigmented area, but then spreads over months and years. More rarely, it is concentrated on a single area of the face or body. To treat vitiligo, long considered impossible to cure, researchers have begun to find solutions. Procedures such as the application of topical creams with an immunomodulating effect, UVA-UVB phototherapy, skin grafts and, more recently, the Excimer Laser have been developed.
The Excimer Laser for often spectacular results
The Excimer Laser at 308 nm is an effective treatment method, thanks to its pro-pigmenting effect and selectivity. It emits a wavelength in the UVB spectrum. The Excimer Laser and narrow-spectrum UVB phototherapy (311-313 nm) offer the best therapeutic results to date. The advantage of this laser lies in its selectivity: only the affected areas are treated. The area scanned by the laser light is smaller than with traditional phototherapy.
The Excimer Laser is well tolerated. It is particularly recommended for recent and less extensive vitiligo. The results obtained on the face are often spectacular and rapid. Tailor-made programmes are offered.
The 308 nm wavelength of the Excimer laser appears to be the most suitable for stimulating melanocytes and therefore repigmentation. Thanks to its variable handpiece, the laser can treat even very small hypopigmented lesions. Treatment starts with an average of two sessions per week, with around ten sessions for the face and at least twice that number for the body. The results obtained naturally depend on the areas to be treated. Between 80 and 100% repigmentation can be observed on the face, and 60% on the trunk. On the back of the hands, the effects are slightly less.
The Excimer Laser is used alone or in combination with conventional treatments. New biological molecules acting on immunity, administered internally, are currently being studied. It is important to note that, even if the Excimer Laser treatment does not provide a solution in every case, it represents a major advance in the treatment of vitiligo. Particularly in cases involving the face.
Dr Véronique Emmenegger: Doctor of Medicine. Double qualiﬁcation as a specialist FMH (Switzerland) in dermatology, venereology, allergology and clinical immunology. In 1998, she co-founded Clinic Lémanic in Lausanne, Switzerland, dedicated to anti-aging medicine and the health and beauty of the skin.
She has been its medical director for 25 years. She has won several international awards, including the IIPP Prize for Merit in the Development of Medical and Aesthetic Technologies at UNESCO in Paris, and the Prize for the Best Clinic in Anti-Aging and Preventive Medicine awarded this spring in Monaco.
More information: cliniclemanic.ch