Many times we have been visited by patients who had previously seen another dermatologist and either had treatment at the time, with no results, or were diagnosed with vitiligo and told that there is no treatment so they had to “learn to live with it”. In both cases, this is a disappointment a patient with vitiligo can avoid if s/he follows the advice below:

 Before you visit a dermatologist for your vitiligo:

  1. Ask if s/he has treated vitiligo cases in the past, how many and for how long.
  2. Ask if s/he has a Wood’s lamp. This is a special light which highlights the spots of vitiligo in the dark, even those which in many cases are not visible to the naked eye. If s/he does not have this particular lamp, the examination cannot be considered thorough, especially at the initial stages of the disease.

When you visit the dermatologist for your vitiligo:

  1. Ask her or him to show you recent and earlier cases s/he treated (preferably more than one or two). Ask to see photos of their progress before and after treatment, as well as photos regarding the body area you want to know about.
  2. Ask her/him to explain how much s/he could help you so that: (a) the expansion, if there is one, stops, (b) repigmentation commences, and also (c) up to what percentage repigmentation may last.
  3. Ask her/ him to explain all the possible side-effects of the treatment s/he proposes, both in the near future and later on.
  4. Ask whether s/he can assess the effect of an extremely stressful event that took place in your life all of a sudden, which has most likely caused the vitiligo, and how best to handle it.