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Vitiligo of Penis
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Vitiligo of Penis

Dear Doctor Rockoff,

For the sake of brevity:

1. 61 y/o male

2. Non-smoker; enjoy decent health with no major illnesses or problems so far; in better than average shape.

3.  Discovered pigment changes on penis about two months ago.  


No pain or discomfort associated with the condition, other than some understandable anxiety.  I do realize that vitiligo is considered benign and harmless in a health sense.

4.  Went to primary physician who concurred with my own assessment that I had Vitiligo.  He sent to a Dermo.  Dermo called it Vitiligo as well and prescribed Protopic.  They both deemed it idiopathic.

5.  My concerns center around the following:

     a.  After extensive looking into this condition, I've discovered that it usually presents between ages 20-40.  Further, that it is remarkable when it appears suddenly in a person my age, and in particular arising on the penis is an even rarer occurrence.  

     b.  I've seen some literature that states in light of the above,  the exclusion of a potential melanoma is advisable.  Both my primary and dermo, when asked about this, had little response other than somewhat terse remarks.  The dermo even asked me if was seeing a shrink.  (not a nice thing to say...)  

6.   What is the general procedure one should follow when confronted with this information?  Am I supposed to just let this be and ignore what I've read?  Are there any statistics with regard to the sudden onset of penile vitiligo in a 61 year old man?   How many cases have been attributed to a response to a malignancy?

What do I do, Doctor Rockoff?   Thanks very much.

RCF

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242489_tn?1210500813
Vitiligo can certainly start before 20 or after 40.  It is always advisable to exclude melanoma.  Your dermatologist should do a full-body exam to look at all your moles and do so.  I see no reason for you to be concerned beyond that.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
If you would indulge one follow-up here,

1.  Is Protopic safe to use on the penis skin (or anywhere)?

The Dermatologist checked my back only for melanoma.  I'll follow up with a more complete exam per your advice.

Thanks for your help.

RCF

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Avatar_m_tn
I have 2 white spots on my penis looks like loss of pigment...im 17 could be anything from syphilis to vitiligo. can i send you a picture?
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Avatar_m_tn
No opinion on the Protopic?

rcf
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had vitiligo since I was 13, It usually starts in the groin, underarms or joint areas
Mine started in the joints, so my knees were the first to turn. There is a medication that works it is called.. Oxsoralen 10 mg, you take two capsules two hours before sun exposure and then you lay in the sun ( naked ) for 5min. cover up and go on with your day . this is done every other day for a week . you increase the time by 5 min every week until you are up to 20 min each session. you will find that the spots will start to get pigment back in them the fleshy areas fill in more quickly than the knees. The Vitiligo will spread if you are stressed so try to stay relaxed as much as possible. Once the area is filled in you just have to take a maintance dose. There are side effects.you dermatologist can advise you to them .I am 45 now and I have only suffered the odd burn.
Hope this helps
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