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Ann Dermatol. 2013 May;25(2):168-72. doi: 10.5021/ad.2013.25.2.168. Epub 2013 May 10.

A pilot study of 1% pimecrolimus cream for the treatment of childhood segmental vitiligo.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.



There is as yet no effective and safe treatment for vitiligo. One percent pimecrolimus cream, a topical calcineurin inhibitor, has been tried for the treatment of vitiligo, with its therapeutic efficacy having mostly been reported in non-segmental vitiligo. However, questions about the therapeutic efficacy of 1% pimecrolimus cream have remained unanswered regarding segmental vitiligo.


The aim of this study was to study the therapeutic efficacy and safety of 1% pimecrolimus cream for segmental childhood vitiligo.


Nine childhood patients with segmental vitiligo were treated with 1% pimecrolimus cream twice daily for three months, after which good responders were scheduled to continue with the 1% pimecrolimus cream monotherapy. The efficacy and safety of this treatment were determined by the levels of repigmentation, initial response time and the presence of adverse events including burning, dryness, stinging and itching.


Four of nine patients achieved mild to moderate responses after three months of treatment and thus continued with treatment. Among these four patients, three achieved an excellent response and one patient achieved a moderate response, with a mean treatment duration of 7.3 months. Transient local burning sensation was the most common adverse event. In comparison with the patients with poor response, those patients with good response showed a shorter disease duration (8.5±10.5 mo vs. 13.4±10.1 mo), more frequent facial involvement (4/4 patients vs. 3/5 patients) and earlier initial response after treatment (1.0±0.0 mo vs. 2.0±1.0 mo).


This study suggests that 1% pimecrolimus cream is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for segmental childhood vitiligo.


Pimecrolimus; Vitiligo

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