Update on the Management of Vitiligo

Amanda F. Nahhas, DO; Taylor L. Braunberger, MD; Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD

Disclosures

Skin Therapy Letter. 2019;24(3):1-6. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Vitiligo is an acquired, autoimmune disease characterized by depigmented macules and patches on the skin, which occur secondary to melanocyte destruction. Available therapeutic options are broadly divided into medical, surgical and phototherapy, though treatment of vitiligo can be challenging. Early diagnosis and management can maximize treatment efficacy. The purpose of this discussion is to review updates in the management of vitiligo, including existing and emerging therapies.

Introduction

Vitiligo is an acquired, autoimmune disease characterized by depigmented macules and patches on the skin, which occur secondary to melanocyte destruction. Focal and segmental vitiligo patterns involve ≤10% body surface area (BSA) and are considered stable patterns. Generalized vitiligo typically involves ≥10% BSA, appears bilaterally in a symmetric distribution, and generally follows a relapsing and remitting disease course.

Treatment can be challenging, though available modalities of therapy include pharmacologic, surgical, and phototherapy. Appropriate characterization of vitiligo type, consideration of disease extent and duration, and efficacy of prior therapies can guide management and maximize treatment efficacy.

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