Dr. Max Gomez: Vitiligo Treatment

Dr. Max Gomez: Vitiligo Treatment

Dr. Max Gomez: Vitiligo Treatment

WOW, IN A SECOND LIKE A GAP
WAS CREATED AND THAT'S WHERE
ALL THE DEBRIS FELL.
VERY, VERY LUCKY.
THIS IS A SKIN CONDITION
YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF.
BUT YOU HAVE PROBABLY SEEN.
IT'S CALLED VITILIGO MADE
FAMOUS BECAUSE MICHAEL JACKSON
HAD IT.
CBS 2'S DR. MAX GOMEZ HERE TO
TELL US ABOUT A NEW TREATMENT.
Reporter: VITILIGO IS A
CONDITION WHERE WHITE PATCHES
DEVELOP ON THE SKIN.
IT'S CAUSED WHEN THE PIGMENT
CELLS OF THE SKIN DIE OFF
PROBABLY DUE TO AUTO-IMMUNE
DISEASE.
IT ISN'T LIFE-THREATENING BUT
IT IS DISFIGURING ESPECIALLY
FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND OTHER
DARK-SKINNED PEOPLE.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, HOW ABOUT
A CELL TRANSPLANT?
♪[ MUSIC ]♪
Reporter: ANYONE WHO
FOLLOWED MICHAEL JACKSON'S
CAREER EASILY NOTICED HOW HIS
SKIN BECAME LIGHTER AND LIGHTER
OVER THE YEARS.
♪[ MUSIC ]♪
Reporter: HE HAD AN ALL OVER
TYPE OF VITILIGO AND RATHER
THAN APPEAR SPLOTCHIER OPTED TO
BLEACH HIS SKIN TO MATCH HIS
PATCHES.
IF SOMEBODY WOULD LOOK AT ME
OR IF OTHER STRANGERS WOULD
LOOK AT ME MY FACE WAS COVERING
MY HATE.
Reporter: THIS WOMAN HAS A
DIFFERENT TYPE THAT STARTED IN
THIRD GRADE.
THE SPLOTCHES AROUND HER EYE
AFFECTED HER PSYCHOLOGICALLY.
I THOUGHT I WAS UGLY WHEN I
HAD IT ON MY FACE.
AND I WOULD CRY AND I WOULD
SAY, WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?
I'M NOT PRETTY.
SHE DIDN'T LIKE TO GO OUT,
LIKED TO STAY IN THE HOUSE.
BASICALLY, SHE DIDN'T WANT TO
CONTACT ANYBODY.
Reporter: TODAY YOU CAN
HARDLY NOTICE CAITLYN HAD
VITILIGO.
WHAT MADE THE TRANSFORMATION IS
THIS, CELLS THAT DO MAKE
PIGMENT ARE ACTUALLY
TRANSPLANTED INTO THE WHITE
PATCHES.
80% OF PATIENTS WILL SEE A
VERY, VERY GOOD RESPONSE.
MAYBE 15% HAVE A PARTIAL
RESPONSE.
Reporter: HERE'S HOW IT'S
DONE.
THE DOCTOR TAKES A SMALL PATCH
OF NORMAL PIGMENTED SKIN.
IN WATSON'S CASE FROM BEHIND
HER EAR.
IN HIS LAB HE EXTRACTS THE
PIGMENT FORMING CELLS.
HE THEN LASERS THE VITILIGO
TREATMENT PATCH ONTO WHICH HE
APPLIES A SOLUTION CONTAINING
THEM.
WE DO AN AREA ABOUT A CREDIT
CARD SIZE AT A TIME AND WE SEE
WHAT THE RESPONSE IS.
AND THEN WE TAKE IT FROM THERE.
Reporter: IT TAKES A FEW
MONTHS FOR THE CELLS TO START
PRODUCING PIGMENT BUT AS YOU
CAN SEE, THE RESULTS ARE
REMARBLABLE.
FOR CAITLYN IT'S TRANSFORMED
HER PERSONALITY.
MORE CONFIDENT WHEN IT COMES
TO LIKE GOING OUTSIDE, TALKING
TO PEOPLE.
I'M NOT AS SHY AS I USED TO BE.
NOW, THE CREME TRANSPLANTS
ARE FOR PATIENTS WITH STABLE
VITILIGO THAT'S NOT SPREADING
AND IN WHOM OTHER TREATMENTS
HAVE FAILED.
THE COST IS 500 TO $1,000
DEPENDING ON THE AREA AND IT
CAN TAKE SEVERAL TREATMENTS
WHICH ARE NOT YET COVERED BY
INSURANCE BECAUSE THE TECHNIQUE
IS VERY NEW.
BUT AS YOU CAN SEE, IT CAN GIVE
A PERSON BACK —
THE TRANSFORMATION OF HER
LIFE —
HIGH SCHOOL KID WHO LOOKED
LIKE THAT AND PEOPLE THINK IT'S
CONTAGIOUS WHICH IT'S NOT.
NO.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THEY SEE

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