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Dermatol Surg. 2008 Sep;34(9):1186-92; discussion 1192-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2008.34257.x. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Chinese cupping: a simple method to obtain epithelial grafts for the management of resistant localized vitiligo.

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Department of Dermatology & Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt.



The introduction of surgical techniques provided a major development in the management of resistant vitiligo and replaced other conventional unsuccessful therapies. Most of these procedures require special devices and experience that prevent many dermatologists from utilizing them.


The aim of this work is to evaluate the introduction of a new simple technique that can be used in epithelial grafting for recalcitrant patches of vitiligo.


Twenty vitiligo patients, nonresponding to classic phototherapy, were candidates in this study. A simple Chinese cupping device was used to induce blisters on the inner aspect of the thighs of the patients and the resulting blister roofs were used for grafting on dermabraded vitiliginous patches. The patients were followed up for 1 year.


Blister roofs induced by Chinese cupping were able to repigment vitiliginous patches in 80% of the patients with admirable coloring match, and the donor areas did not show any cosmetic disfigurement at the end of the study.


In conclusion, Chinese cupping is a simple and easy-to-use method to obtain epithelial grafts for vitiligo management. The author has indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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