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Narrow-band UVB for the treatment of generalized vitiligo in children


A. J. Kanwar, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160 012, India. E-mail:


Vitiligo usually begins in childhood with approximately half of the patients manifesting onset of disease prior to the age of 20 years. Treatment options in this age group are few and have disappointing response rates. This study was designed to evaluate the role of narrow-band UVB in the treatment of generalized vitiligo in children. Twenty-six children (aged 5–14 years) with generalized vitiligo (minimal extent of depigmentation of 5% of the skin) were treated three times per week with narrow-band UVB therapy for a maximum period of 1 year. Of 26 patients, 6 were lost to follow up and 20 (7 males, 13 females) completed the study. At the end of 1 year of therapy, 15 (75%) patients developed marked to complete repigmentation. Moderate and mild repigmentation was noted in four (20%) and one (5%) patients, respectively. An average number of 34 (± 2) treatment visits was required to achieve 50% repigmentation. Adverse events were mild and transient. Narrow-band UVB is an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for childhood vitiligo.