Vitiligo affects 4 percent of the population, or about 70 million people, worldwide. Vitiligo is an abnormality of the immune system that causes the skin to lose its normal pigment, resulting in white patches, especially on the face, hands and feet. While Vitiligo is not life-threatening or contagious, it can cause psychologically devastating effects and hardships for patients, from depression and social stigma over their appearance to discrimination in the workplace and problems with relationships.
As the only health system in Orange County to offer specialized treatment for vitiligo, Dr. Anand Ganesan, a UCI Health dermatologist and specialist in vitiligo treatment, treats several hundred patients that have the condition, patients like Jacqueline:
“I have been afflicted with this disease for almost five years now. Although I have found this to be a very challenging disease both mentally and physically, I have found excellent care and comfort with the great staff at UCI Health Dermatology, especially with Dr. Anand Ganesan. Dr. Ganesan is well versed and has up to date knowledge on all the latest trends for this disease, along with the best research and clinical advances.
The purpose of this Giving Day is to create awareness and generate funding for further research for this psychologically and emotionally scarring disease. I am blessed that my pigmentation loss is mildly different than my skin color, but for those that suffer the most, we need to create more awareness and hopefully it will lead to insurance companies to cover this medical condition. Both Dr. Ganesan and Dr. Pezhman Mobasher spend a tremendous amount of time on their research. I believe they are the best choice for such an endeavor to find a cure.” - Jacqueline, Patient
Every day Dr. Ganesan and his team work hard to identify more effective Vitiligo treatments through innovative research and clinical trials. Currently, they have ongoing studies in oral, injectable and surgical therapies for the condition. It is their hope to create a healthier and happier tomorrow for patients and ultimately expand access to specialized vitiligo care. This Giving Day, we hope you will help make this vision a reality, with a donation to support the groundbreaking Vitiligo research at UCI Health.
Image Above: Non-invasive imaging reveals differences between normal and vitiligo skin. Dr. Ganesan, together with Dr. Balu and others at the Beckman Laser Institute, have developed non-invasive microscopy methods that can see through layers of skin to identify what is different between vitiligo and normal skin. In the image on the far left, vitiligo skin and adjacent normal skin in the areas noted were imaged (C2). When the top layers of vitiligo and normal skin were imaged (D1 and E1), they looked essentially the same. However, as you go deeper in the skin (D2 and E2), you see that vitiligo skin (E2) appears quite different from normal skin under the microscope (D2). Ongoing work is trying to understand how vitiligo and normal skin differs at a molecular level.