The Clinic’s multi-disciplinary approach hopes to offer dermatologists and their patients a comprehensive service encompassing expert opinion, patient support and education, and specialised treatments. As a centre of excellence, the Vitiligo Clinic will be well placed to provide training and research opportunities and to collaborate with similar centres overseas.
Referrals to the Vitiligo Clinic, for both paediatric and adult cases, can be made through the regular appointment booking system
(ph: 03 9623 9400), or by via our online Patient Referral Form.
Enquiries about the clinic can also be made via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This clinic will provide a valuable resource for dermatologists and a source of hope for vitiligo sufferers and their families.
We look forward to your support.
Who to refer?
There will be 2 pathways for referral:
- A clinic for common vitiligo, providing advice on treatment optimisation, specialised treatments (eg. excimer laser, epidermal grafting) and support services
- A cellular grafting service (direct referral) for patients with stable leucoderma, such as:
- segmental vitiligo
- hypopigmented scars
- naevus depigmentosus
Patients with common (autoimmune) vitiligo may also be suitable for epidermal grafting, but only once their condition has become stable, ie. non-progressive for at least 12 months.
Vitiligo Clinic (for common vitiligo)
Consider referring your patients for a second opinion regarding optimisation of standard therapies.
Co-management may be appropriate, with patients receiving UV therapy in private rooms and reviewed with a treatment plan every 3-6 months in the Clinic.
Your patients may also benefit from access to the following services:
- Excimer Laser therapy
- Camouflage advice
- Psychological counselling
An information package about vitiligo and links to support services will be offered to patients and their families. Read below to find out more about the extra services provided in the Clinic.
Epidermal Cellular Grafting Service
Australia’s first dedicated non-cultured epidermal cellular grafting service will enable patients to have a single-day procedure using a novel technique for re-pigmentation of the skin. A success rate of over 90% applies for “non auto-immune” leucoderma. For stable auto-immune vitiligo the rate is 70% (these patients will firstly need to be assessed in the regular Clinic for disease stability).
The technique involves the preparation of a cellular suspension, following trypsinisation of donor skin, which is then applied to the laser- ablated leucoderma. An area up to 10 times the size of the donor site can be treated.
The cost of the service may vary but will be approximately $2000 per treatment.
What extra services will the clinic provide?
The Vitiligo Clinic will be unique in its ability to offer a full suite of services at the one location, with professionals who have been selected for their expertise and experience in this area.
Clinical Assessment and Patient Education
Prior to their consultation, patients will complete a questionnaire online (or on a copy sent by post). On arrival they will receive an information
package about vitiligo, its treatments and support group resources through an easy-to-read brochure and video presentation. They will then see a nurse for a standardised examination and assessment. Next their condition will be accurately recorded by digital photography. Finally, with all clinical information and images available, patients will receive management advice by the dermatologist.
The SCF now has a new excimer laser ready for use for patients with vitiligo. This 308nm ultraviolet device is an established treatment for vitiligo and provides similar outcomes to narrowband UVB therapy but does so 4-5 times more rapidly than standard phototherapy. This enables fewer treatment sessions while avoiding tanning of the surrounding skin. As is the case with all lasers, the cost of treatment will be partly dependent on the size of the area to be treated.
All patients will be required to complete a quality-of-life survey (DLQI) and 10-item psychological distress scale (K10). According to these assessments patients may be advised to consult with a psychologist (Ms Seba Biondo) or psychiatrist. Seba currently works at the SCF with alopecia areata patients. Her experience with these patients offers insight into the often similar needs of patients with vitiligo. The Clinic will have measures in place to ensure patients have obtained the appropriate referral from their GP and have kept their appointment with the psychologist.
Ms Joanna Blair is a make-up artist with an interest in medical camouflage. She has experience in the application of Dermablend™, Dermacolor™ and Microskin™. Patients can see Joanna, with a small co-payment, as a part of their visit to the Vitiligo Clinic, or can be referred directly for a private consultation. Ms Mia Vucur uses a semi-permanent micropigmentation technique which may provide camouflage lasting up to 3 years. Patients will be firstly assessed in the clinic before being recommended to see Mia.
Meet the Dermatologists
The consultants at the Vitiligo Clinic share a common interest in treating vitiligo and positively impacting on the lives of vitiligo sufferers.
Dr Adrian Mar is Department Head at Monash Medical Centre and has private rooms in Moonee Ponds.
Dr Michelle Rodrigues consults at the St Vincent’s and Royal Children’s Hospitals and in private rooms
in Box Hill and Frankston.
Dr Shally Gupta consults at the Austin, Northern and Royal Women’s Hospitals and in rooms at Ivanhoe and Kew.
Dr Desmond Gan consults at the Alfred Hospital and Monash Medical Centre and is in private practice in Geelong, Malvern, South Yarra and Bulleen.
With the support of the SCF, through the Paul Eddington Scholarship Drs Rodrigues and Gan (accompanied by Dr Mar) gained experience in epidermal cellular grafting techniques at institutions in Chandigarh, India and Ghent, Belgium.
The Clinic gladly welcomes feedback and suggestions to improve its services.