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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 82  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 673--676

Efficacy and relapse rates of different treatment modalities for progressive macular hypomelanosis

1 National Skin Centre; Department of Material Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2 Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
3 National Skin Centre, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Steven T. G. Thng
National Skin Centre, 1 Mandalay Road, 308205
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.182797

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Background: Progressive macular hypomelanosis is an acquired disorder characterized by hypopigmented macules mostly on the trunk and upper extremities. Although many treatment modalities have been proposed for this condition with variable success rates, there are few reports comparing their efficacy and relapse rates. Aim: To compare the efficacy and relapse rates of different treatment modalities for progressive macular hypomelanosis. Methods: Case records of patients diagnosed with progressive macular hypomelanosis and treated in National Skin Centre for a six year period between 2008 and 2014 were reviewed. Patient demographics, distribution of hypopigmented macules, treatment efficacy and relapse rates were noted. Results: A total of 108 patients were seen for progressive macular hypomelanosis over the study period; of these, 40 opted for no treatment but were followed up. Thirty-six were treated with topical antimicrobials and 32 with phototherapy. Of those untreated, 23% recovered spontaneously while 38% in the antimicrobial group and 90% in the phototherapy had remission of their hypopigmentation. After 2 years of follow-up, relapse occurred only in the phototherapy group. Limitations: The main limitation is the retrospective design whereby diagnosis is dependent on the attending dermatologist. Conclusions: Narrow-band ultraviolet B therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for progressive macular hypomelanosis but also has the highest potential for relapse. Response rates for antimicrobial therapy are lower and slower, but patients who responded did not relapse. A combination of topical/systemic antimicrobials with narrow-band ultraviolet B therapy might be the best option to hasten recovery and minimize relapse.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow