Skin grafting and melanocyte transplants hold promise for the treatment of vitiligio, according to information presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 70th Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The most common treatments for vitiligo include topical medications and light therapy to restore pigment, but these newer surgical techniques have a high success rate, says Rebat M. Halder, MD, a professor and chair in the department of dermatology at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

For example, skin grafting has a success rate of 80% to 90% in most patients. This in-office procedure is not widely used in the US, but is commonly used in South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, India and China.

Melanocyte transplants also have a success rate approaching 95%. Few dermatologic centers in the US are offering this procedure, but Halder expects that it will be available to more patients in the future. Follow-up treatment with phototherapy can improve the outcomes of both skin grafting and melanocyte transplants.

“The newest surgical grafting techniques and transplant procedures hold a lot of promise for successfully treating vitiligo, and I think we’ll see more dermatologists offering these cutting-edge procedures in this country in the future,” Halder says in a press release.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology