Photo(chemo)therapy for vitiligo


  • Conflicts of interest:
    None declared.

Giovanni Leone, Photodermatology Unit, San Gallicano Dermatological Institute, Via Elio Chianesi, 53, Roma 00144, Italy.
Tel: +39 065 266 5982
Fax: +39 065 266 5343


Vitiligo is a common skin disease characterized by loss of normal melanin pigments in the skin and its pathogenesis is still unclear. Treatment modalities include psoralen plus ultraviolet A, narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB UVB) phototherapy, topical and systemic steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, topical vitamin D analogues in monotherapy or in association with phototherapy, and surgical treatment. NB UVB (310–315 nm) radiation is now considered as the ‘gold standard’ for the treatment of diffuse vitiligo, and treatment with two recently introduced UVB sources that emit 308 nm wavelengths, the 308 nm xenon chloride (XeCl) excimer laser and the 308 nm XeCl excimer light, has also been reported to be effective and might be the treatment of choice for localized disease: this treatment modality has been defined as ‘targeted phototherapy.’