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Repigmentation of pretibial vitiligo with calcineurin inhibitors under occlusion


Dr. med. A. Hartmann Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
Hartmannstraße 14
D-91052 Erlangen
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Treatment of vitiligo is a challenge, especially in children. Recently, topical calcineurin inhibitors have been introduced in the management of vitiligo, but significant repigmentation is not achieved except on the face. Large pretibial lesions of a 15-year-old female with progressive vitiligo were treated twice daily over six months with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment on the right and 1% pimecrolimus cream on the left side without effect. Additional overnight occlusion with polyurethane and hydrocolloid foils during the following 18 months led to substantial repigmentation on both sides (tacrolimus-treated side, 88% repigmented area; pimecrolimus-treated side, 73%). Tacrolimus serum levels measured at four different time points did not exceed 1.8 ng/ml. This case report on a direct comparison of topical tacrolimus and pimecrolimus in vitiligo shows that on the shins considerable improvement could be induced with both agents only by additional long-term occlusion and that tacrolimus was somewhat more effective than pimecrolimus.