A lot of people with vitiligo are self-conscious about their look, specifically if the white patches show on their face, neck or hands, and this can make them reluctant to seek help. The two main specific areas where the pharmacist can offer information: the correct consumption of sunscreens and using skin camouflage products.
Sunscreens absorb or reflect ultraviolet radiation before it reaches the facial skin. However, many sunscreens offer better protection against UVB (short wavelength UV radiation) than UVA (longer wavelength). Because vitiliginous skin is particularly susceptible to sunburn, there are a number of sunscreens located on the National Health Service, but a majority of those with best treatment for vitiligo have no idea this. These kinds of products appear in appendix 7 from the British National Formulary (borderline substances) which is in the patient’s interest to be informed that sunscreens should be used and can be acquired on prescription.
When a sunscreen has become prescribed, it really is useful to check that the patient continues to be told how, and how often, to utilize it. Sunscreens ought to be applied liberally and even for good protection, they will be reapplied approximately every hour in the event the person is outside on the sunny day. However, this is usually a problem when the wearer also uses skin camouflage products.
It is additionally beneficial to make sure that the individual is satisfied with the sunscreen selected with the general practitioner – no sunscreen is effective to your patient when it is not used. For youngsters of school age, roll-on sunscreens are particularly useful because they could be self-applied with little spillage or embarrassment. Indeed, they may be seen as a “cool” item to have in one’s school bag. Many GPs and patients will not be conscious of tinted sunscreens will also be viti1igo on prescription. These can provide both colour and sun protection for that depigmented patches and they are particularly helpful for children, or for everyone who would like to disguise the patches but would not feel relaxed using skin camouflage.
Should an individual with vitiligo request assistance in choosing from the huge selection of non-prescribable sunscreens available, they ought to be advised to utilize one containing both UVA and UVB protection. In the case of all people with vitiligo, whatever their ethnic origin, their vitiliginous skin ought to be treated as type 1 skin (always burns, never tans), which can be typical of men and women with fair skin, light eyes and freckles. They therefore call for a sun protection factor of 25 or over. Considerations when recommending products include ease of application, staying power, absorption and stickiness.
Should an individual report that she / he always burns, regardless of what sunscreen is commonly used, the pharmacist should discover how the merchandise is being applied. It is additionally important to find out if the individual is to take drugs for virtually any other condition to be able to exclude any drug-induced photosensitivity. Enquiries about any “health” products being taken may also be useful because a variety of herbs can cause photosensitivity. By way of example, many people will not realise that for those who have vitiligo, herbal products including St John’s wort can do more damage than good.