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Earlier this year, TeVido BioDevices announced a new, proprietary vitiligo treatment that uses skin cell transplants to restore skin color. The product, called TruPigment™, is now available and processed in TeVido’s FDA-registered Tissue Establishment and is expanding to major U.S. cities soon.
TruPigment™ uses a skin cell transplant to treat vitiligo
TruPigment™ is a cell liquid made from your own living skin cells. When applied to vitiligo during a surgical procedure called a skin cell transplant, the cell liquid helps restore skin color. Here’s how it works: Your doctor takes a small, thin sample of your healthy skin and sends it to TeVido’s laboratory. TeVido takes your living skin cells and puts them into a liquid. This cell liquid, your TruPigment™, is shipped back to your doctor. Your doctor gets your vitiligo spot ready for treatment with a simple medical procedure and TruPigment™ is put on top. Within a few days, your cells start re-attaching to your skin.
TruPigment™ is created using your own skin cells
TruPigment™ is custom created for each patient – because it’s made from your own skin cells. To make your unique TruPigment™, TeVido gets a sample of your healthy epidermis, or the top layer of your skin. TeVido separates the living pigment cells and other healthy cells from the rest of the skin that holds everything together. The cells are put into a liquid, creating TruPigment™. When applied to your skin, the transplanted cells begin to grow and make pigment, restoring color.
The skin sample size required is small and thin
Worried about giving away your skin? You don’t need to be. Doctors can treat a vitiligo spot that is five times the size of the sample – this means you only need a small sample to treat a larger area. To put this into context, an average playing card is about five times the size of two postage stamps. In addition, the sample is taken from your epidermis, the top layer of your skin. The sample is about as thin as a sheet of paper and you can even see through it.
The process requires two short in-office procedures
The process requires two in-office procedures, typically scheduled two days apart. During the first procedure, which takes an average of 15 minutes, the depigmented area being treated is measured and total surface area is calculated to determine the sample size needed. The sample is taken by numbing a small area of healthy, pigmented skin and removing a thin top layer of skin. The sample is shipped to TeVido’s laboratory where it is turned into TruPigment™ and then returned to the doctor. During the second appointment, which can take between 20 minutes and an hour, the doctor prepares the depigmented area using dermabrasion or laser resurfacing, procedures commonly used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. After preparation, TruPigment™ is applied and the area is bandaged to protect the transplanted cells.
The healing period lasts about one week
Within the first few days of the procedures, the transplanted cells are reattaching to the skin. As a result, movement of the bandage can damage the cells and prevent this reattachment from taking place. The bandage is typically removed after one week, although your doctor will provide specific instructions based on your medical needs. During the healing period, redness and swelling may occur. Although risks associated with the procedure are low, they may include scarring, infection and color mismatch. Doctors will discuss these risks, and any allergies you may have, in advance of the procedure.
Most patients see results within 1-2 months
If successful, skin color typically starts to come back in 1-2 months and will continue to progress over 6-12 months. For best possible results, your doctor may recommend additional treatments such as the use of topical medications, light therapy, or additional surgical procedures. However, vitiligo is a complicated disease and results may vary. Some patients have kept their new skin color for more than five years and experts believe it can be permanent. It’s important to note that if vitiligo begins to spread, it may reverse the results. Talk to your doctor to set expectations in advance of the procedure.
TruPigment™ works best for patients with stable vitiligo
If your vitiligo is stable, which means you have not seen any new spots or spreading for one year, you may be a good candidate for TruPigment™. Stable vitiligo is key because active vitiligo is still spreading and attacking skin cells. As a result, a cell transplant may not be effective as the new cells could also be attacked.
The TruPigment™ process is safe
Your health – and the health of your skin cells – is critical as the cells need to stay alive during the making and shipping of the cell liquid. TeVido has done extensive research and development to achieve this, using a proprietary process and dedicated, FDA-compliant laboratory to turn skin samples into TruPigment™. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), TruPigment™ is classified as a Human Cell/Tissue Product (HCTP). As such, TeVido’s process and dedicated laboratory is regulated by and adheres to strict FDA quality control guidelines.
Skin cell transplants have been used to treat vitiligo for years
Skin cell transplants have been used to treat stable vitiligo for over 25 years. However, the process of preparing the cells from the skin sample requires special equipment and must meet FDA requirements. As a result, the procedure is often too costly for clinics – until now. TeVido’s centralized, FDA-registered facility handles the procedure via overnight shipping, alleviating the burden for doctors. To date, there have only been a few clinics in the U.S. that support skin cell transplants. With TruPigment™, any doctor in the U.S. could have accessibility to this treatment for patients.
You can talk to TeVido about TruPigment™ today
TeVido is currently working with specialists around the U.S. to make TruPigment™ available in all major cities. If you’re interested in having TruPigment™ available in your city, contact TeVido at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about TruPigment™ at https://tevidobiodevices.com/.
Medical Disclaimer: This information is intended for informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor or a professional healthcare provider for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.