Most people with vitiligo are self-conscious about their appearance, specifically if the white patches show on their face, neck or hands, and that could make them unwilling to seek help. There are two specific areas wherein the pharmacist can provide information: the correct usage 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 specially vulnerable to sunburn, there are many of sunscreens located on the National Health Service, but a majority of people who have makeup for vitiligo have no idea this. These products happen in appendix 7 of the British National Formulary (borderline substances) and is particularly from the patient’s interest to be informed that sunscreens ought to be used and can be had on prescription.
When a sunscreen continues to be prescribed, it can be important to check that the sufferer has become told how, and exactly how often, to utilize it. Sunscreens needs to be applied liberally and for good protection, they ought to 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.
Additionally it is helpful to make sure that the patient is happy with the sunscreen selected with the general practitioner – no sunscreen is effective into a patient should it be not used. For kids of school age, roll-on sunscreens are particularly useful because they are often self-applied with little spillage or embarrassment. Indeed, they may well be seen as a “cool” item to obtain in one’s school bag. Many GPs and patients will never be conscious that tinted sunscreens will also be viti1igo on prescription. These will give you both colour and sun protection for your depigmented patches and therefore are particularly useful for children, or for everyone who wishes to disguise the patches but would not feel at ease using skin camouflage.
Should somebody with vitiligo request assistance when choosing from the vast range of non-prescribable sunscreens available, they should be advised to utilize one containing both UVA and UVB protection. With regards to everyone with vitiligo, whatever their ethnic origin, their vitiliginous skin should be treated as type 1 skin (always burns, never tans), which happens to be typical of folks with fair skin, light eyes and freckles. They therefore require a sun protection factor of 25 or over. Considerations when recommending products include simplicity of application, staying power, absorption and stickiness.
Should a patient report that he / she always burns, no matter what sunscreen is commonly used, the pharmacist should discover how the item is now being applied. It is also crucial that you inquire if the sufferer is taking drugs for almost 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 might cause photosensitivity. As an example, a lot of people do not realise that for people who have vitiligo, herbal products including St John’s wort are capable of doing more harm than good.