1. Vitiligo is a skin disorder which causes the loss of pigment - melanin - in the skin.

    Though it affects around 45 million people worldwide, common understanding of vitiligo has been clouded by misconceptions, leading to the stigmatization of those affected by the disease.

    Modern medical understanding easily corrects much of this misunderstanding.

    In presenting this information we hope to facilitate a better common understanding of vitiligo, and to help people gain an insight into this distressing disorder.

    Produced March 2012 by Clinuvel clinuvel.com

    Quote references:
    Vitiligo Support International:
    vitiligosupport.org/vitiligo/

    Kaimal & Thappa, (2010). "Diet in Dermatology". IJDVL 76(2):103-115. Available online:
    ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378-6323;year=2010;volume=76;issue=2;spage=103;epage=115;aulast=Kaimal

    Gauthier & Benzekir in Picardo & Taieb (2010). "Vitiligo". Springer (1st edition).

    Image references:
    commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo1.JPG
    commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo2.JPG
    Selected images courtesy of Pearl E Grimes MD
    Our thanks to Hedvig Lindahl and Lee Thomas

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  2. Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy is currently seen as the phototherapy of choice for nonsegmental vitiligo patients. Learn about Clinuvel's vitiligo program with SCENESSE® (afamelanotide):clinuvel.com/en/vitiligo

    Vitiligo is an acquired depigmentation disorder that is characterised by a chronic and progressive loss of functioning skin and/or hair follicle melanocytes. Melanocytes are found in the epidermal layer of our skin and produce melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin and hair. The loss of epidermal melanocytes in vitiligo leads to a loss of melanin pigment which leaves the affected area white.

    The most common subtype of vitiligo, nonsegmental vitiligo, accounts for 85 to 90 percent of cases. It is believed to be caused by the immune system attacking and destroying melanocytes causing a loss of pigment and leading to the loss of colour.

    NB-UVB uses specific wavelengths to activate melanin in vitiliginous lesions of the skin. This therapy is known to effectively suppress the local immune response and accelerate the maturity of melanocytes in the area around hair follicles, which act as melanocyte reservoirs, leading to repigmentation of the skin.

    Although NB-UVB is one of the leading therapies for nonsegmental vitiligo, the drawbacks are numerous. Chronic effects of NB-UVB may include skin aging and photo-carcinogenesis, which may lead to skin cancer; although these long term effects are yet to be fully investigated. Treatment is required three times a week for up to 18 months and relapse is common. 

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    Image references:
    Some clinical images provided courtesy of Pearl E. Grimes, M.D.
    flickr.com/photos/amagill/243303450/

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  3. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, weighing approximately 16% of our bodyweight. Skin consists of multiple layers, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Produced by Clinuvel clinuvel.com

    Human skin has numerous functions, it is the major interface between the environment and the human organs and so it serves many specialised functions that facilitate survival.

    It regulates body temperature to protect against hyperthermia and hypothermia. Skin protects from the invasion of noxious substances, UV light, heat and micro-organisms.

    The skin is also the most extensive sensory organ of the body for detection of tactile, thermal and painful stimuli and is where vitamin D production begins

    For more information on skin, light, UV and melanin visit:
    clinuvel.com/en/science-of-skin

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  4. Skin is classified into 6 different skin types, from light to dark tones. Our skin protects us from the damage incurred from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light with melanin, the pigment that colours the skin. Melanin acts as a filter, reflecting and refracting this light and increasing our ability to prevent skin damage from UV.

    For more information on skin, light, UV and melanin visit:
    clinuvel.com/en/science-of-skin

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  5. Vitiligo is an acquired depigmentation disorder that is characterised by a chronic and progressive loss of functioning skin and/or hair follicle melanocytes. Melanocytes are found in the epidermal layer of our skin and produce melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin and hair. The loss of epidermal melanocytes in vitiligo leads to a loss of melanin pigment which leaves the affected area white.

    Vitiligo has been described as one of the most psychologically devastating diseases in dermatology. The condition is a chronic relapsing disorder and new depigmented areas of skin can form without warning, having a profound effect on a patient's quality of life. Discrimination, embarrassment and low self esteem are just a few examples of what a patient can endure with the disfiguring effects caused by vitiligo.

    Phototherapy, mainly narrow band UVB (NB-UVB), has emerged as a mainstay of repigmentation treatment in individuals affected by vitiligo. NB-UVB utilises a localised light source to activate melanin in vitiliginous lesions of the skin. This therapy is known to effectively suppress the local immune response and accelerate the maturity of melanocytes in the area around hair follicles, which act as melanocyte reservoirs. This process leads to activation of melanin (pigment).

    This is where Clinuvel's first-in-class drug SCENESSE® will play an important role.

    The novel therapy narrow-band UVB and the clinical response by patients, provides an excellent indication that melanocytes are present in the vitiliginous lesions of patients. After years of research, the clinical and academic community and the scientific teams at Clinuvel are well aware that where melanocytes are present, there are melanocortin-1 receptors available. And where there are melanocortin-1 receptors, there is an opportunity for SCENESSE® to activate the melanocyte.

    The belief is widely supported that SCENESSE® will act as a chemical agent to the melanocyte in combination with the physical stimulant, narrowband UVB phototherapy, to repigment the skin of vitiligo patients.

    For more information on SCENESSE® visit scenesse.com

    Image references:
    flickr.com/photos/amagill/243303450/
    commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo1.JPG
    commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo2.JPG
    commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo03.jpg

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Vitiligo

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