A lot of people with vitiligo are self-conscious about their look, particularly when the white patches display on their face, neck or hands, and this could make them unwilling to seek help. There are two specific areas where the pharmacist can offer information: the appropriate use of sunscreens and using skin camouflage products.
Sunscreens absorb or reflect ultraviolet radiation before it reaches the skin. However, many sunscreens offer better protection against UVB (short wavelength UV radiation) than UVA (longer wavelength). Because vitiliginous skin is especially vunerable to sunburn, there are a number of sunscreens available on the National Health Service, but a majority of individuals with makeup to cover vitiligo do not know this. These products show up in appendix 7 of your British National Formulary (borderline substances) and is particularly from the patient’s interest to be informed that sunscreens should be used and can be obtained on prescription.
If a sunscreen has become prescribed, it really is beneficial to be sure that the individual has become told how, and the way often, to apply it. Sunscreens must be applied liberally and for good protection, they must be reapplied approximately every hour in case the person is outside on a sunny day. However, this could be a problem in the event the wearer also uses skin camouflage products.
It is additionally useful to make certain the sufferer is pleased with the sunscreen selected with the general practitioner – no sunscreen is helpful to a patient should it be not used. For kids of school age, roll-on sunscreens are particularly useful because they can be self-applied with little spillage or embarrassment. Indeed, they could be considered a “cool” item to get in one’s school bag. Many GPs and patients is definitely not aware that tinted sunscreens may also be viti1igo on prescription. These can provide both colour and sun protection for that depigmented patches and are particularly ideal for children, or for anybody who wants 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 ought to be advised to use one containing both UVA and UVB protection. In the case of everyone with vitiligo, whatever their ethnic origin, their vitiliginous skin ought to 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 higher. Considerations when recommending products include easy application, staying power, absorption and stickiness.
Should an individual report that he / she always burns, regardless of what sunscreen is utilized, the pharmacist should learn how the item will be applied. Additionally it is vital that you inquire if the person is taking drugs for virtually any other condition to be able to exclude any drug-induced photosensitivity. Enquiries about any “health” products being taken will also be useful because numerous herbs could cause photosensitivity. For instance, a lot of people do not realise that for people who have vitiligo, herbal products such as St John’s wort can do more harm than good.