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Transverse needling after autologous mini-punch grafts improves stable vitiligo

A study of 20 stable non-segmental vitiligo patients indicates that weekly needling sessions following mini-punch grafting can speed up and improve the repigmentation of these vitiligo lesions. One of the goals of the study was to enhance understanding of different surgical techniques in vitiligo, so that the pros and cons can help inform clinical care.

The study, published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2021; 14:827-835) involved 80 lesions on 20 patients who were randomly assigned to three treatment groups. The first group received mini-punch grafting alone, the second group received needling alone, and the third group received both procedures.

The authors note that all patients received oral mini-pulse steroids and narrow-band ultraviolet-B for three months before and six months after the treatments. Secondary outcomes of the study included time to first repigmentation response, cosmetic matching and patient satisfaction.

According to the study results, mini-punch grafting followed by weekly needling for six months achieved the fastest response and the highest extent of repigmentation, as determined during an assessment by planimetry. The authors also reported lesions that received mini-punch grafts and transverse needling alone had better results than the control group.

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