Vitiligo can affect all parts of the body, including the genitals, and appears in high percentages, in both sexes, in various anatomical sites, such as the scrotum, the penis, the glans in men and in the vulva and all the areas of the vagina in women, as well as in the anus.
The genitals are affected by vitiligo lesions and this form falls under the category of "mucocutaneous" lesions, where the skin and the mucosae meet. This type of vitiligo is more resilient to treatment and the treating doctor must ensure the control of its spreading.
Vitiligo is not a common skin disease in most parts of the world, particularly in the western countries. (0.5-2%) As a result, many doctors are insufficiently trained to specially treat and cure patients with vitiligo.
Due to the susceptibility of the genitals to some therapies, genital vitiligo should be treated carefully and with certain precautions given the sensitivity of the region.
The use of phototherapy can be dangerous because of the sensitivity of the penis and the testicles, but also of the vagina and the vulva, especially to ultraviolet light and heat. It is known that a rise of temperature inside the testicles is directly related to reduced sperm production. It is believed that a continuously elevated temperature in male genitals can lead to development of infertility in the long term.
It worth noting that corticosteroid creams are not recommended for sensitive areas, like the genitals, for prolonged periods, given the known side effects of steroids particularly in high concentrations, which are more likely to induce repigmentation in vitiligo. Moreover, local calcineurin inhibitors should not be used as a first-line therapy and for prolonged periods.
In our center, with the help of our personalised compounded medications, the repigmentation percentages in the area of the genitals are satisfactory and without any side effect from the first two months of the treatment. This happens because we have the chance to adapt the potency of our formula based on the area of the body or of the mucosae and on the skin type.