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A Combination Treatment of Light Therapy and Topical Therapy is Effective in Acral Vitiligo

A recent study published in the Journal of Dermatologic Therapy suggested that a combination of excimer light and topical calcipotriol is effective in the treatment of acral vitiligo (vitiligo involving extremities: hands, fingers, feet, toes). The aim of the study was to examine the safety and efficacy of this combination treatment for acral vitiligo.

The study was a randomized, double-blinded, intraindividual study. A total of 26 hands were included in the study. Both excimer light therapy and topical medication was given in the first 12 weeks of treatment followed by topical medication alone in the next 12 weeks. Excimer light therapy was given for both the hands thrice a week for 12 weeks. Calcipotriol and Clobitasol ointments were randomly applied to one hand each, twice daily for 24 weeks.

The hands were then examined for repigmentation, adverse effects and clinical improvement. Approximately 8% of the treated hands achieved excellent repigmentation with a combination of excimer light and Calcipotriol ointment and 25% achieved good to excellent repigmentation with calcipotriol alone. There were no serious adverse effects observed.

Thus, the results of the study indicated that acral vitiligo can effectively be treated with a combination of excimer light and calcipotriol ointment followed by calcipotriol monotherapy (topical calcipotriol ointment alone). The study also proposed that it has the potential to become a promising treatment method for acral vitiligo in the near future.

Source: Juntongjin P, Sangganjanavanich P. Efficacy of the combined excimer light and topical calcipotriol for acral vitiligo: A randomized double‐blind comparative study. Dermatol Ther. (2021); 34(2).

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