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Vitiligo Treatment in Childhood: A State of the Art Review

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Vitiligo is a common depigmenting disorder affecting about 1–2% of the world population. Approximately half of the affected individuals develop the disease before adulthood. Etiologic hypotheses for vitiligo include biochemical, neural and autoimmune mechanisms. The most compelling of these suggests a combination of genetic and immunologic factors that result in an autoimmune melanocyte destruction. We reviewed studies carried out on various treatment modalities used in childhood vitiligo. Topical corticosteroids were found to have excellent repigmentation rates, whereas calcineurin inhibitors have comparable efficacy and a better safety profile compared with topical corticosteroids. These two groups of topical medications are good first-line treatment modalities for localized vitiligo. For the treatment of generalized vitiligo, phototherapy has excellent efficacy. Narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB) has better overall repigmentation rates and safety profile than either topical or oral psoralens and ultraviolet A (PUVA). Other treatment modalities may be considered depending on a patient’s specific condition, such as surgical options and depigmentation. With adequate sun protection, the option of no treatment with or without corrective camouflage, is an innocuous alternative to any of these treatment modalities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, Colorado 2: Section of Pediatric Dermatology, The Children’s Hospital, Aurora, Colorado

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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