Vitiligo is caused by the loss of melanocytes,
the skin cells which produce the skin colour melanin.
As well as melanocytes, the skin is primarily
made up of keratinocytes and a few other cells
such as langerhans cells and fibroblasts. Although
it is not known why Vitiligo naturally occurs,
it is acknowledged that melanocyte loss may also
occur after certain laser treatments of the skin,
congenital causes such as piebaldism, halo nevi,
or on certain types of scars (e.g. scar dischromia
after a burn injury).
The Melanocyte Keratinocyte Transfer (MKT) technique
used at Wimpole Aesthetic Centre is suitable for
the treatment of stable vitiligo or other forms
of leucoderma (lack of pigmentation). Using a
special enzyme in sterile conditions, the cells
from a small area of healthy skin can be separated
and then placed in a suspension which is applied
to the area of skin that is being affected by
the vitiligo. What better way to treat an area
of hypopigmentation than to transfer melanocytes
from another area of the body to the defective
MKT vitiligo treatment can be
used on any area of the body including the face, eyelids,
hands, fingers, genitals and feet. Although a safe procedure,
it is worth noting that patients with certain health issues
may need special precautions throughout treatment. All
aspects of the procedure and your health can be discussed
during your initial private consultation with Dr
How the treatment is
The procedure is performed under sterile conditions
in a procedure room using aseptic technique. Under
local anaesthetic, a small, very thin area of healthy
skin is removed, usually from the hip area. The
skin biopsy is about 200 microns thick and about
2cm x 3cm in area, depending on the size of the
Using a well researched and developed technique,
the skin is processed to produce a pre-confluent
mix of epidermal cells. The area to be treated
is gently abraded, once again under local anaesthestic,
and the skin cell mixture is applied. These cells
immediately attach themselves to the prepared
recipient site and the healing and repigmentation
process begins. There is no danger of scarring
during this process and the cells can do no harm
as they are autologous (i.e. the patient's own
cells). On average, the procedure takes approximately
1 hour 15 minutes.
After the procedure, the treated site is protected
by a dressing for one week. You will be given
verbal and written post procedure instructions
before leaving the Wimpole Aesthetic Centre. Dependant
on the site that was treated, no further dressing
is required and you will simply need to follow
the instructions you were given by the clinic.
Usually there is no bruising or swelling. Some
patients may feel minor discomfort at the biopsy
and treated site for a few days, but this can
be remedied using a mild painkiller if necessary.
Recovery is remarkably quick!
What can be expected:
The vitiligo treatment is
very safe and usually 100% effective. Patients start to
see repigmentation in about 2 to 4 months, with full benefit
in up to 6 months. This is because the transplanted melanocytes
need to proliferate and begin producing melanin. Most patients
get the result they seek with a single treatment but for
some patients with larger areas it may be necessary to have
more than one treatment session. This aspect of care will
be discussed at the initial consultation.
Caucasian skin benefits from light exposure post treatment.
This is to encourage the transplanted melanocytes to produce
melanin. This is done by exposing the treated area to
mild daylight - for example, overcast daylight through
a window for 30 minutes a day is fine.
Please visit out Frequently
Asked Questions page for further information.
|The cost of our vitiligo
treatment will depend on the size of the area to be
treated, however the minimum cost is usually in the region
of £3000. A consultation with Dr
Mulekar will provide you with personal answers to your
all of your questions and, on examining your vitiligo, we
will be able to give you an accurate quote for your treatment.
Consultations may take up to one hour and are charged at
| Other vitiligo treatments
such as 'Punch Grafting', Skin Grafts (STSG) and the 'Blister
Technique' are available, however not at the Wimpole Aesthetic
Centre. We would recommend investigating alternative vitiligo
treatments very closely as they have significant drawbacks.
Punch Grafting for example, produces a pebble appearance
on both the donor and recipient site. When using the Blister
Technique or Skin Grafts, the amount of area that can be
treated is limited to the size of the donor sites. We are
unable to provide detailed information regarding alternative
treatments and techniques.
| Please click
here to book your private consultation.