When Yan Valle was just six years old, he scraped his knee when he was playing soccer. It could happen to any young boy. But soon he saw a white patch emerge on his knee. Fast forward nine years, he had some new nicks and bruises from martial arts and shaving. The result: more depigmented patches. His dermatologist prescribed PUVA therapy but it made him feel sick, and he had to stop treatments.
Looking for answers and solutions, he read whatever he could find on the subject of vitiligo. He stockpiled hundreds of publications. He tried to make sense of it all. It just made more depressed.
VRF, the Vitiligo Research Foundation, was founded in late 2010. Given the benefit of charitable donations and medical research, they were determined to find a cure. And this is what they discovered: there is no cure. But there is education, research and best practices in vitiligo management that need to be shared with both physicians and patients. Yan Valle had a lot of ideas and real world experiences. So he walked away from a 30-year career in the high tech world to become CEO of the Vitiligo Research Foundation, where he now helps vitiligo patients detect early warning signs, identify potential triggers and understand treatment options.
If you have vitiligo, or care about someone who does, we recommend reading his new book, “A No Nonsense Guide to Vitiligo.” It has lots of good information about scientific evidence, clinical observations, lifestyle considerations and treatment options. He speaks not only as a researcher, or as a CEO, but a man who has dealt with vitiligo for almost all of his life.
In the book he says that for the treatment of vitiligo, home phototherapy with narrow-band UVB therapy has a similar outcome to clinic-based therapies, but home phototherapy is more cost-effective. The benefits of home phototherapy, he says, are:
- An effective, drug-free treatment
- Easy to operate in the privacy of your home
- No travel needed, which saves a lot of time and money.
- Much easier to keep to a treatment schedule
- New devices, like the Clarify Medical Home Light Therapy System, have built-in software, so doctors can control dosage remotely and monitor compliance.
For a free copy of “A No Nonsense Guide to Vitiligo,” and information about Clarify’s new smartphone-connected phototherapy system, just give us your name and mailing address. There’s no cost, not even for shipping. You’ll appreciate the author’s thoughts on the social, medical and psychological implications of living with vitiligo, and his crusade to help people afflicted with the disease.