Effectiveness of a 308-nm excimer laser in treatment of vitiligo: a review.Lasers Med Sci. 2013 May; 28(3):1035-41.LM
Vitiligo is a relatively common acquired disorder, characterized by progressive loss of melanocytes from the epidermis and the epidermal appendages. The disease is associated with considerable morbidity because of a major impact on the quality of life. The treatment for vitiligo is generally unsatisfactory and challenging. There are a variety of therapeutic possibilities including topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, as well as phototherapy with Psoralen plus UVA (PUVA), narrow-band UVB, and a 308-nm excimer laser and/or lamps. Furthermore, surgical methods encompass grafting and transplantation while depigmentation treatments and psychological support may also be considered. The objective is to assess the effect of the 380-nm excimer laser in the treatment of vitiligo based on the available studies and case series. We searched the relevant literature about vitiligo and excimer laser published between 1990 and 2012 using the MEDLINE database. We reviewed all relevant articles about 308-nm excimer laser and light sources assessing their efficacy in the management of vitiligo as well as their side effects. The value of combination treatment methods was also analyzed. The available studies provide strong evidence that the excimer laser represents the most effective approach to treat vitiligo compared to ordinary phototherapy. Excimer laser is relatively safe and effective for localized disease. UV-sensitive areas respond best as well as a short duration of the disease. More frequent treatments achieve better results. Compared to other treatment modalities, the excimer laser most likely constitutes the treatment of choice for localized vitiligo. Its efficacy can be further improved in combination with other therapies such as corticosteroids, pimecrolimus, or tacrolimus.