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Excimer light photototherapy of segmental and non-segmental vitiligo: experience in Taiwan

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest:

    None.

Correspondence:

Dr. Tsen-Fang Tsai, M.D., Department of Dermatology, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan.

Tel: +886 2 23562141

Fax: +886 2 23934177

e-mail: tftsai@yahoo.com

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the efficacy of excimer light in the treatment vitiligo and to assess parameters affecting therapeutic results.

Methods

This retrospective study analyzed 227 patches of vitiligo in 142 patients. Treatment was performed twice weekly and treatment efficacy was assessed by two independent dermatologists. Patients who received less than 24 treatment sessions were excluded from the analysis of predictive factors for response.

Results

Sixty-eight (30.0%) patches achieved more than 50% repigmentation, and 42 (18.5%) achieved more than 75% repigmentation. The mean treatment numbers to achieve any repigmentation and more than 50% repigmentation were 19.41 and 34.93, respectively. Fewer treatment sessions number, segmental lesions and absence of melasma were significant predictors for poor treatment response in multivariate analysis. Lesions on the hands/feet needed the highest dose and scalp lesions needed the highest number of treatment sessions to produce initial repigmentation.

Conclusions

Excimer light is a valuable treatment modality for both segmental and non-segmental vitiligo even in patients who have failed previous treatments. The number of treatment sessions needed to produce initial pigmentation may be higher than 30 for scalp lesions. There is a need to find other combination methods, both medical and surgical, to enhance its therapeutic efficacy.

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