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Topical tacrolimus for treatment of childhood vitiligo in Asians


A.J. Kanwar, Department of Dermatology Venereology & Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160 012, India.
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Childhood vitiligo is a common disorder of pigmentation in India. Considering the lack of uniformly effective and safe treatment modalities for children with vitiligo, search for newer therapeutic agents continues. This study was designed to evaluate the role of topical tacrolimus in the treatment of childhood vitiligo. Twenty-five children with vitiligo were treated with topical 0.03% tacrolimus ointment applied twice daily for 12 weeks. Response was noted as marked to complete (> 75% repigmentation), moderate (50–75% repigmentation) and mild (< 50% repigmentation). Twenty-two children (9 boys and 13 girls) of mean age 7.2 ± 1.4 years completed the study. Twelve (54.5%) children had vitiligo vulgaris, nine (40.9%) had focal vitiligo and one (4.5%) had segmental vitiligo. The mean duration of disease was 8 ± 3 months. Nineteen (86.4%) children showed some repigmentation at the end of 3 months and other three had no response. Of these 19 children, repigmentation was marked to complete in 11 (57.9%), moderate in five (26.3%) and mild in three (15.7%) children. Side effects were minimal, such as the pruritus and burning noted in only three patients. Topical tacrolimus is an effective and well-tolerated treatment modality in Asian children with vitiligo.