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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012 Jan-Feb;78(1):42-8. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.90945.

Ultraviolet-based therapy for vitiligo: what's new?

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Department of Dermatology, Multicultural Dermatology Center, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.


Vitiligo is an ancient disease in which depigmented and hypopigmented macules appear on the skin. It is a disfiguring condition that may lead to severe psychological trauma. Among the many treatment modalities available for use in vitiligo, those using light therapy, and in particular ultraviolet (UV) light, are some of the most effective treatments. UV-based therapy includes phototherapy (narrowband UVB), photochemotherapy (psoralens with UVA), and targeted phototherapy (excimer laser and excimer lamp). It is important for any practitioner of UV-based therapy to understand the efficacy of each treatment type, as well as their respective adverse effects. In order to take full advantage of UV-based therapy, location, dosing, and photoadaptation must also be taken into account. This review discusses the various UV-based therapeutic options, adjuvant therapies, optimal dosing guidelines, appropriate patient selection, future treatment options, and recommendations based upon the current evidence and the authors' experience with vitiligo.

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