Targeted and combination treatments for vitiligo
Comparative evaluation of different current modalities in 458 subjects

Authors

  • Torello Lotti,

    1. Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy,
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica, Università di Firenze, Milano e Siena, Italy,
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  • Gionata Buggiani,

    1. Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy,
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica, Università di Firenze, Milano e Siena, Italy,
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  • Michela Troiano,

    1. Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy,
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica, Università di Firenze, Milano e Siena, Italy,
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  • Gelareh Bani Assad,

    1. Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy,
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica, Università di Firenze, Milano e Siena, Italy,
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  • Jacques Delescluse,

    1. The Brussels Clinic for Skin Diseases, Brussels, Belgium, and
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  • Vincenzo De Giorgi,

    1. Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy,
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica, Università di Firenze, Milano e Siena, Italy,
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  • Jana Hercogova

    1. Department of Dermatology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Torello Lotti, Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, or email: torello.lotti@unifi.it

Abstract

ABSTRACT:  The current treatment of vitiligo is not satisfactory according to the opinions of both the patient population and the dermatologists. Recently, combination therapies have been introduced, which are both systemic and targeted (microphototherapy). To evaluate the effects of topical treatments given alone or in combination with 311-nm narrow-band microphototherapy. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of: (1) 311-nm narrow-band microphototherapy;(2) tacrolimus 0.1% ointment twice a day; (3) pimecrolimus 1% cream twice a day; (4) betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream twice a day; (5) calcipotriol ointment 50 µg/g twice a day; and (6) 10%l-phenylalanine cream twice a day, for the treatment of exclusively vitiligo patches. A 311-nm narrow-band microphototherapy (Bioskin®) was given alone or in combination with the above-mentioned popular local treatments. Four hundred and seventy patients suffering from vitiligo that affected less than 10% of the skin surface were evaluated. The patients were divided into 11 groups according to the selected treatment modalities. Four hundred and fifty-eight patients completed the study period of 6 months. Excellent repigmentation (> 75%) was achieved by 72% of the patients in group 1, 76.5% in group 2, 76.1% in group 3, 90.2% in group 4, 75.6% in group 5, 74.8% in group 6, 61% in group 7, 54.6% in group 8, 71.2% in group 9, 59.1% in group 10, and 29.3% in group 11. Marked repigmentation (50–75%) was evident in 19.8% of the patients in group 1, 18.2% in group 2, 20.1% in group 3, 6.7% in group 4, 14.1% in group 5, 11.3% in group 6, 16.1% in group 7, 18.4% in group 8, 25% in group 9, 10.6% in group 10, and 8.1% in group 11. Moderate results (25–50% repigmentation) were seen in 4.6% of the patients in group 1, 3.3% in group 2, 2.7% in group 3, 2.2% in group 4, 7.4% in group 5, 10.1% in group 6, 18.4% in group 7, 21.7% in group 8, 2.1% in group 9, 27.1% in group 10, and 55% in group 11. Finally, minimal (< 25%) or no response was achieved in 3.6% of the patients in group 1, 2% in group 2, 1.1% in group 3, 0.9% in group 4, 2.9% in group 5, 3.8% in group 6, 4.5% in group 7, 5.3% in group 8, 1.75% in group 9, 3.2% in group 10, and 7.6% in group 11. Side effects were skin atrophy (76% in group 4 and 81% in group 9), stinging and burning (groups 2, 3, 7, and 8). Targeted combination therapies in vitiligo are remarkably more effective than single treatments. When single treatments are considered alone, 311-nm narrow-band UVB microfocused phototherapy and 0.05% betamethasone dipropionate cream are the most effective treatments in our study. When combined therapies are chosen, 0.05% betamethasone dipropionate cream plus 311-nm narrow-band UVB microfocused phototherapy apparently give the highest repigmentation rate. In the short term, the only side-effects registered have been cutaneous atrophy with corticosteroid cream, and stinging and burning with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment and, less frequently, with 1% pimecrolimus cream.

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