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Inside a Los Angeles Vitiligo Support Group Hosted by Two Expert Dermatologists

Inside a Los Angeles Vitiligo Support Group Hosted by Two Expert Dermatologists

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five women with vitiligo sitting with hands on knees

Get cozy, grab a snack and get ready to talk—that was the invitation shared as the Los Angeles Vitiligo Support Group’s meeting opened on a January evening. The group’s second meeting since founding, the event had nearly thirty people in attendance both virtually and in-person at the Vitiligo Pigmentation Institute of Southern California.

Leading the meeting were two renowned dermatologists and experts in vitiligo—Dr. Pearl Grimes and Dr. Nada Elbuluk. And their enthusiasm for supporting the globally based patients on the call was heartwarming. 

“I’m here until we’re done!” exclaimed Dr. Grimes, determined to answer any and every question from the individuals in attendance. “It’s about you. It’s about supporting you and answering your questions.”

There are a lot of myths about vitiligo and misinformation online. It’s something that both dermatologists confront on a daily basis as individuals with vitiligo visit their practices. The goal of the meeting was to flip that narrative by providing accurate, credible information that answered attendee questions.

And that’s exactly what happened. As participants submitted questions both over Zoom and in the room, Dr. Grimes and Dr. Elbuluk tackled more than a dozen topics related to vitiligo ranging from supplements to treatments, COVID vaccines and more.

To kick off, Dr. Grimes shared some introductory information about vitiligo. For example, vitiligo is an autoimmune condition characterized by white patches and caused by genetics, oxidative stress and autoimmunity. Anyone can get vitiligo and there’s an equal frequency of vitiligo occurring in all ethnic groups. And yes, it can be treated to bring back pigmentation, but there is no cure.

But that’s not all. The dermatologists also tackled burning questions around hot topics across treatment, comorbidity, supplements and more. Does treatment cause cancer? There’s no data to suggest this. How quickly will treatments work? There’s no quick fix for treatment—this is a months-long process that won’t happen overnight. Should those with vitiligo be getting regular lab work done? Yes, to check for other potential autoimmune diseases and at least once a year.

Dr. Grimes, who has dedicated her career to studying and treating vitiligo, is the Founder and Director of the Vitiligo & Pigmentation Institute of Southern California and The Grimes Center for Medical and Aesthetic Dermatology. She’s also the new president of the Global Vitiligo Foundation. Dr. Nada Elbuluk (who has been interviewed on Living Dappled before) is also a passionate vitiligo advocate and the the Founder and Director of the Skin of Color and Pigmentary Disorders Program at the USC Keck School of Medicine. 

Interested in joining the Los Angeles Vitiligo Support Group? You can be added to the email list for upcoming events by contacting adminassistant@pearlgrimesmd.com.

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