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Concept: Vitiligo


Abstract Background: Several treatment modalities had been used for the treatment of vitiligo but the optimal treatment has not yet been identified. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intradermal injection of 5-flurouracil (5-FU) combined with narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) as a treatment option for vitiligo. Patients and methods: The study included 60 vitiligo patients with overall symmetrical lesions affecting less than 30% of body surface area. For each patient, one side of the body was treated with NB-UVB alone (control side) while the other side was treated with NB-UVB therapy in addition to intradermal injection of 5-FU (50 mg/ml), 0.01-0.02 ml per injection with 1 cm apart in skin of vitiligo, every 2 weeks for 4 months. Results: The overall repigmentation was significantly higher in the 5-FU side compared with control side in all body parts (p < 0.001) except for the acral lesions where the difference was not significant (p = 0.561). No systemic side effects of 5-FU were detected, and the majority of the patients reported pain during injections. Conclusions: Intradermal 5-FU injection in combination with NB-UVB could be considered as a simple, safe, tolerable and cheap technique for treatment of vitiligo. It shortens the duration of NB-UVB therapy and improves the outcome, repigmentation. Longer follow-up is needed.

Concepts: Pharmacology, English-language films, Human skin color, Vitiligo, Psoralen


Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which cutaneous depigmentation occurs. Existing therapies are often inadequate. Prior reports have shown benefit of the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

Concepts: Inhibitor, Autoimmune diseases, Vitiligo


In patients with vitiligo, the clinical and laboratory features of the disease may vary according to time of onset. This is addressed in the literature by only a few studies with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to determine the demographic and clinical features of patients with non-segmental vitiligo and to establish the association between vitiligo and autoimmune diseases with a focus on time of disease onset. A total of 224 vitiligo patients for whom complete medical records were available were evaluated retrospectively. Demographic data, scores on the Vitiligo Area Score Index (VASI), clinical features, vitiligo disease activity, repigmentation status, presence of any accompanying autoimmune disease, antinuclear antibody (ANA) titers, serum levels of glucose, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4) hormone, anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) were recorded. The prevalence of halo nevi was significantly higher (P < 0.001) among children than in other patient groups. The prevalence of leukotrichia was higher in adults with adult-onset disease than in either pediatric patients or adults with childhood-onset disease (P = 0.002). Both anti-TG and anti-TPO levels were significantly higher in adults with adult-onset disease than in pediatric patients and adult patients with childhood-onset disease. The prevalence of autoimmune disease was 22.2%. Anti-TG levels were significantly higher in patients with treatment-related repigmentation than in those without repigmentation. This study shows that clinical features and associations with autoimmune disease may vary according to the age of onset of vitiligo.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Demography, Autoimmune disease, Graves' disease, Autoimmune diseases, Vitiligo


Systemic corticosteroids are often used to treat atopic dermatitis (AD). However, few studies assessed the safety and efficacy of systemic corticosteroids in AD.

Concepts: Asthma, Atopy, Corticosteroid, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Arthritis, Atopic dermatitis, Vitiligo


Systemic drug treatment of vitiligo is currently limited to predominantly adjuvant measures for increasing the effectiveness of UV light therapy. We here present new approaches for the systemic treatment of vitiligo currently under clinical investigation. These include the α‑MSH-analogue afamelatonide and oral immunosuppressants such as the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors which target interferon-α-dependent autotoxic inflammatory reactions. In 2015 the first publications on the successful systemic use of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors in vitiligo appeared. The effectiveness was experimentally supported by animal models of vitiligo and by the characterization of new biomarkers in the serum of vitiligo patients. This may significantly expand the range of treatment options for vitiligo. Topical antiinflammatory and UV therapies are still the main components of vitiligo treatment, often in combination. The main outcome parameters include the extent and duration of repigmentation, cessation of spreading, avoidance of side effects and improvement in the quality of life of patients.

Concepts: Inflammation, Ultraviolet, Therapy, Sunlight, Fluorescent lamp, Psoriasis, Light therapy, Vitiligo


There is an increasing interest in the apparently normal skin in vitiligo. Altered expression of the adhesion molecule E-cadherin and persistent deregulated intracellular redox status that promotes the acquisition of a stress-induced senescent phenotype in melanocytes of normally pigmented skin from vitiligo patients have been described. Growing evidence has shown that such cellular and functional alterations are not necessarily restricted to melanocytes but may be extended to other cutaneous cell populations in both lesional and non-lesional areas. However, whether dermal fibroblasts exhibit related alterations that may contribute to the defects associated with melanocytes in vitiligo is not known. Here we reveal within the dermal compartment cells with a myofibroblast phenotype and a predisposition to premature senescence, indicating the existence of altered cross-talk between dermal and epidermal components which may affect melanocyte functionality even in the apparently normal skin of vitiligo patients.

Concepts: Gene, Organism, Radical, Skin, Dermis, Epidermis, Melanocyte, Vitiligo


To assess the sociodemographic data and clinical information of outpatients affected by vitiligo in the northeast of China, vitiligo patients or guardians who presented to the clinic were invited to participate in an exploratory questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two sections related to vitiligo, including sociodemographic data and clinical information. A total of 983 vitiligo patients answered the questionnaire. The rates of female and male patients were comparable. The investigated patients were mostly young and middle-aged. Most patients suffered from vitiligo in childhood or young adulthood. Vitiligo vulgaris was the most common type of vitiligo in clinic and 53.0% of patients were categorized as body surface area (BSA) of 10% or less. In response to the latest treatment, 43.6% of patients achieved good response (completely stopped or almost disappeared). More patients at active stage showed good response than the patients at stable stage (χ(2) = 7.866, P < 0.05). Chronic comorbid condition(s) were observed in 12.6% of patients with BSA of more than 10%, whereas those were seen in 6.0% of patients with BSA of 10% or less (χ(2) = 12.969, P < 0.05). In conclusion, active vitiligo seems to respond better than stable vitiligo and complications with other autoimmune diseases more frequently observed in severe patients than mild patients. The current study presented a comprehensive understanding of vitiligo in the northeast of China.

Concepts: Male, Vitiligo


Vitiligo is a de-pigmenting skin disorder characterized by white patches on skin due to partial or complete loss of melanocytes. Psoralen in combination with ultraviolet-A (PUVA) acts by stimulation of melanin content and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. Resveratrol, a sirtuin activator and a potential anti-oxidant reduce oxidative stress which is one of the triggering factors for initiation of vitiligo. Despite their therapeutic activity, weak percutaneous permeability of psoralen and poor solubility of resveratrol hinders their effective topical administration. The aim of present study is to formulate ultradeformable liposomes (UDL) co-loaded with psoralen and resveratrol for evaluation of PUVA and anti-oxidant combination in vitiligo treatment. For this purpose, UDL composed of DC-Chol, cholesterol and sodium deoxy cholate were prepared for their co-delivery. Liposomal carriers were characterized and evaluated for their efficacy using B16F10 cell line. Free radical scavenging potential was also determined for these carriers by in vitro anti-oxidant assays. Optimal co-loaded UDL with particle size ranging from 120 to 130nm, zeta potential of +46.2mV, entrapment efficiency of 74.09% (psoralen) and 76.91% (resveratrol) were obtained. Compared to control, co-loaded UDL showed significant stimulation of melanin and tyrosinase activity with major contribution of psoralen. Further, co-loaded UDL also exhibited potential free radical scavenging activity where resveratrol played a key role. Hence, psoralen and resveratrol co-loaded UDL acts in vitiligo through dual mechanisms of action viz., stimulation of melanin and tyrosinase activity as well as by anti-oxidant activity. These findings indicate that psoralen and resveratrol co-loaded UDL has the promising therapeutic potential for the treatment of vitiligo.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Radical, Vitamin C, Melanin, Melanocyte, Tyrosinase, Vitiligo


The prerequisite for a successful vitiligo epidermal grafting surgery is the stable status of the disease. We used Wood’s lamp to assess vitiligo activity to determine the disease stability, surgical grafting timing and the early recognition of re-pigmentation after grafting. Amelanotic lesions with sharply demarcated borders are typically stable and are good candidates for grafting. The re-pigmentation was first recognised under Wood’s lamp as hypochromic islands, which progressed to normally pigmented islands. For patients more prone to relapse, follow up with Wood’s lamp also provides more accurate surveillance.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Surgery, Pigment, Vitiligo, Borders


There are many theories explaining vitiligo such as genetic, autoimmune, neural, free radicals, biochemical, intrinsic defect, melanocytorrhagy and convergent theories. Phenytoin is a widely used anticonvulsant, which is used in cutaneous medicine for treatment of ulcers and epidermolysis bullosa. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of topical phenytoin gel in treatment of vitiligo patients and explaining the underlying mechanism using immunohistochemistry for evaluation of HMB45, CD4 and CD8. Only nine patients out of 28 experienced response to phenytoin in the form of dull white color change and light brown color. Post-phenytoin treatment biopsies showed decreased density of inflammation, increased melanin and increased HMB45 positive cells together with increased number of CD4 positive lymphocytes and decreased number of CD8 positive lymphocytes. These observations did not reach significant level (P>0.05). High percentage of CD4 positive lymphocytes was significantly associated with long duration of vitiligo (p=0.03) and segmental vitiligo type (p=0.02). The current study applied phenytoin as 2% concentrated gel for 3 months, which is a relatively short duration without observed side effects through this period. These results indicate that topical phenytoin of low concentrations may have beneficial effects through immunomodulatory activity by affecting CD4 and CD8 counts and subsequently the ratio between them. Further studies are recommended to combine phenytoin with other antivitiligo agents as local corticosteroids or phototherapy to clarify if it could potentiate their effects.

Concepts: Immune system, Scientific method, Effect, Effectiveness, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Epidermolysis bullosa, Vitiligo, Brown