The Skin Hospital is the first and largest Vitiligo centre in Australia.
Australia is evolving into a multicultural, multi ethnic society with growing numbers of racially pigmented ethnicities. With this increase in numbers we are seeing more cases of Vitiligo and Pigmentary disorders at The Skin Hospital as many people are suffering from conditions where there is a change in the colour of the skin.
Vitiligo is where the individual develops patches of depigmented (white) skin; melasma in which brownish patches develop on the cheeks, forehead and upper lips and post-inflammatory dyschromias where the skin heals with a change in skin colour following injury. In addition, skin diseases like acne, eczema, psoriasis and infections can also result in changes in skin colour. These disorders together are called Pigmentary Skin Disorders.
Along with Vitiligo and Pigmentary patients our Dermatologists also work closely with people with Albinism, offering subsidised consultations, presentations at their conferences and supporting other activities. This provides us with experience in managing two similar appearing conditions with different prognosis and complications.
In addition to a detailed history and examination at the clinic, ready access to pathology services is available so that biopsies and special stains can be performed and assessed quickly. Thereafter, medical treatments are tailored to the patient’s needs.
Types of treatment options involved in our Vitiligo and Pigmentary Clinics includes:
- Medical therapies - topical/oral
- Onsite Phototherapy services - whole body cabinet and hand and foot unit.
- Photo documentation to assess progress is performed.
- Camouflage consultation - nurse led clinic available as a one off cosmetic consultation for $55 and then $25 for subsequent sessions.
- Laser Targeted UVB therapy
- Camouflage options
Surgical options, such as:
- Miniature Punch Grafting
- Autologous Melanocyte Transfer (Westmead only)
In the future, we have planned that we will also be offering tattooing and onsite psychological counselling as well as Excimer Light treatment if we are successful in our current fundraising appeal.
Autologous non-cultured melanocyte (epidermal or follicular) transplantation is a new surgical treatment available for our patients. This can be completed on patient's with stable disease (that is, progression of old lesions and/or development of new lesions is absent for a minimum of 12 months preceding transplantation). Piebaldism, Waardenburg's syndrome, halo naevi, naevus depigmentosus, chemical leukoderma, post-burn leukoderma, post-laser leukoderma and discoid lupus erythematosus can be treated.
Long-term results of non-cultured melanocyte (epidermal) cellular grafting in the above conditions have shown 80-100% repigmentation was achieved in over 90% of patients. Recipient sites such as the face and neck are associated with greatest success followed by the limbs and trunk.
The procedure is much more labour intensive than tissue grafting techniques, requiring a purpose designated laboratory where laminar flow and strict aseptic techniques are ensured. The required after care can be extensive. The procedure is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
Dermatologists that specialise in this treating Vitiligo and Pigmentary disorders include: