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Ask Dr. Gott 12/19
Reader suggests cure for vitiligo
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am responding to a letter that was published a few months ago about pigment loss in their skin. You speculated that it is a condition called vitiligo, and I believe in your assessment. However, I wish to update you on some of the information about advances that have been made in this area. As a person who has dealt with vitiligo for 12 years, as well as being a medical professional, I can assure you that it is treatable.
    I have completely cleared all lesions from my face, as well as regaining pigment in all the affected areas. Being a Caucasian female, I had the option of wearing cosmetic camouflage, which I did. However, it was very heavy and uncomfortable. I can certainly sympathize with anyone who is dark-skinned and does not wish to wear makeup. This would include most men of ethnic background, as well as men in general.
    One hundred percent effectiveness is always the goal, but we all know this would happen only in a perfect world. However, for those who have positive results, they can be dramatic.
    A little over a year ago I made a trip to Germany to see a doctor who has had great success treating vitiligo with a special enzyme cream combined with light therapy. After one month of daily treatments, I began to notice freckles in the affected areas. Four months later, I could stop wearing makeup on my face all together. I cannot tell you how fantastic this has been. The rest of the areas continue to gain pigment, and, as the freckles merge, I see hope for being able to wear short sleeves without being self-conscious after 10 years. The only drawback at this point is that it is expensive. I had to buy a NB-UBV light panel, and pay for the cream and the trip to Germany. As with anything, where there is a will there is a way. It's been priceless to me, and once the initial expenses were met, I was able to simply order more cream, which gets sent from Germany.
    I have met other people who are getting treatment from this doctor and have seen and heard many success stories. If your readers wish to look into the treatment, I highly recommend they do so, as it has done such great things for me. The doctor's Web site is
    DEAR READER: Vitiligo is a common skin disorder marked by patchy depigmentation that has heretofore been untreatable.
    As you indicated, the one drawback is the expense and inconvenience, but that may be a small price to pay. Also, I want to remind my readers that this whole therapeutic breakthrough is new to me, so I cannot comment on its success rate, side effects or safety.
    For further information, contact the National Vitiligo Foundation Inc., 76 Garden Road, Columbus, OH 43214. The phone number is (614) 261-8145.

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