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 SYMPOSIUM - VITILIGO
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49--58

Depigmentation therapies in vitiligo


Department of Dermatology and STD, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Devinder Mohan Thappa
Department of Dermatology and STD, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.90946

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Depigmentation therapy in vitiligo is an option in those with extensive vitiligo who have failed to respond to medical therapy and have obvious cosmetic disfigurement due to intervening patchy pigmented areas. Various aspects of this therapy such as the cost, treatment time, course, permanency of depigmentation, side effects, and the possibility of repigmentation should first be discussed with the patient. At present, there is no ideal depigmenting therapy available, but many agents in the market have been in use for many years. Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (MBEH) is the mainstay and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in USA but takes many months to depigment and is associated with local side effects and risk of repigmentation. Other agents which are also used are 4-methoxy phenol and 88% phenol. Physical therapies for depigmentation include Q-switched ruby and alexandrite lasers and cryotherapy. Second-line agents which can be explored for depigmentation include imatinib mesylate, imiquimod, and diphencyprone. Many possible experimental agents are being explored like various phenol derivatives, melanoma vaccines, interferon gamma, busulfan, etc. A major lacuna still exists in this area and a lot more research is desirable to give satisfactory cosmesis to these patients with extensive vitiligo.






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Online since 15th March '04
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