Can Vitiligo Be Treated with Surgery?
Epidermal cell suspension (ECS) is an effective surgical method for repigmenting stable vitiligo. Complete and quick repigmentation on face and trunk regions and in focal and segmental vitiligo is usually achieved through ECS, but vitiligo that occurs at elbows, knees, iliac crests, and malleoli and/or vitiligo types, such as generalized and acrofacial vitiligo tend to be more resistant and difficult to treat.
A recent study looked at the addition of follicular cell suspension (FCS) to determine whether that improved outcomes. The study was a randomized trial that compared the efficacy of ECS + FCS and used ECS as an active control method. The authors matched vitiligo patches based on their anatomic locations, and participants were then randomized to either ECS + FCS (group A) or ECS alone (group B). They were able to compare a total of eighty-four target lesions (42 pairs); seventy-four percent of the lesions were difficult-to-treat vitiligo.
The results showed that the repigmentation outcome of ECS + FCS was superior to ECS even at acral or bony sites and in generalized or acrofacial vitiligo. There was faster repigmentation and a superior color match which resulted in better patient satisfaction.
The authors conclude that this novel approach, that can be done in the clinical setting, achieves optimal repigmentation with fast results and a good color match in difficult-to-treat vitiligo patients.