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Skin seeding shows clinical benefit for children with intractable vitiligo

Photo by: James Heilman, MD, via Wikimedia Commons

South Korean researchers report that a skin seeding technique (SST) may help children with intractable vitiligo who do not show adequate response to other therapies.

Published as a research letter in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the authors from Ajou University Medical Center and Eureka Skin and Laser Clinic in South Korea performed SST on 83 pediatric patients (<20 years of age) with stable (no disease progression for ≥6 months) and refractory (no improvement with nonsurgical treatments) vitiligo. The SST procedure uses a motorized 0.4 to 0.5 mm micropunch machine that extracts normal skin and transplants it into the areas affected by vitiligo.

One week after surgery, the surgical sites were treated with an excimer laser and 0.1% tacrolimus ointment. Two dermatologists compared clinical photographs at baseline to photos at follow-up visits to evaluate the repigmentation rate.

The authors report that all enrolled subjects had ≥3 months of follow-up (mean, 11.1 months) following surgery. Of the 83 patients, 76.0% showed good treatment response (>75% repigmentation). Partial (50% to 75%) and poor (<50%) treatment responses were each observed in 12% of the participants.

They noted the treatment prognosis was better for lesions located on the face and neck, and there was no spread of the treated lesions for more than one year.

“Having vitiligo causes severe stress, regardless of gender or age,” Professor Kang Hee-Young, one of the authors of the study, said in a press release. “Notably, the trial is especially significant as it confirmed good treatment effects in intractable pediatric patients who did not respond to conventional treatment.”


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