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The Efficacy of Topical Immunomodulators in Treating Vitiligo

15 August 2009


Background: Vitiligo is a cutaneous disorder of pigmentation with 1% to 2% incidence. People affected by vitiligo have a vast reduction in quality of life caused by the color contrast between healthy pigmented skin and depigmented vitiligous patch.

Hypothesis: Topical Immunomodulators are an effective treatment for repigmentation of vitiligo patches.

Study Design: A systematic review of literature.

Methods: A literature search was performed using the National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE), EMBASE, CINAHL, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Current Contents, and search databases. Articles included those from 2006-2009, in English-language literature, that were human studies, and with the search term using the key word below.

Results: Out of forty eight articles were found in data base, only six articles have the criteria to be included in this review. The criteria were controlled trial, and using topical immunomodulators (tacrolimus and pimcrolimus) alone for treating vitiligo patches. All six articles are included in this review.

Conclusion: Topical immunomodulator ointment is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for vitiligo especially involving the head and neck. Larger placebo-controlled studies using calcinerurin inhibitors in combination therapy or alone are required to determine the exact role of these drugs in vitiligo treatment.


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