The pigment, or color, of our hair and skin is something we all want to maintain. As a culture, we spend an enormous about of money trying to cover up gray hair, which is essentially a depigmentation in the hair follicle. You can also suffer from a loss of pigment in the skin if you have a skin disorder called vitiligo. Vitiligo affects both men and women of all races and results in white patches on the skin. Vitiligo is often an hereditary condition. The appearance of vitiligo can be lessened to a degree using treatment methods such as the Xtrac laser, a dermatologic service that Olansky Dermatology Associates provides to help vitiligo regain skin pigmentation.
Fortunately, scientists from the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders have developed a compound that they claim will cure gray hair and also be effective for patients with vitiligo. Researchers discovered that a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide is what causes depigmentation. Hydrogen peroxide eventually blocks the normal production of melanin, the natural pigment responsible for hair color, as well as skin and eye color. They developed a UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS that can reverse this build up, and thus restore pigment to hair follicles and skin.
This medical news is exciting not just for the average American wanting to hide their gray and “stay young,” but for the many people who suffer emotional and psychological stress from dealing with vitiligo.