Why doesn’t UVB work on all vitiligo types?
Yesterday Cartman left a really great question in our comment area on this post which included a short video, by Clinuvel, which shows how UVB treatments work on Non-segmental vitiligo.
What does it mean that UVB treatments only work on Non-segmental vitiligo?
Since I didn’t have the answer, I immediately emailed my contact at Clinuvel and received this answer a few hours later.
A fair question and one I sent across to a member of our scientific team who reviewed the initial video. I’ve had the following response:
Phototherapy with NB-UVB is currently the preferred treatment for patients with nonsegmental (generalized) vitiligo. In nonsegmental vitiligo patients, where multiple or large area of the body are usually affected, NB-UVB is currently the first line treatment for inducing repigmentation and can also be used to arrest disease progression in active vitiligo.
Phototherapy is also indicated in segmental vitiligo, but the response of segmental vitiligo to NB-UVB therapy is at best limited.
In patients with segmental vitiligo, the use of targeted phototherapy with excimer laser or monochromatic excimer lamp, both at 308 nm, is often preferred. The red light emitted with helium–neon laser phototherapy has also been described as a potential therapy to promote skin repigmentation in patients with segmental vitiligo.
Alternatives other than phototherapy may also be efficiently used for patients with segmental vitiligo, such as topical treatment (corticosteroid creams). Surgical modalities such as certain types of grafts (autologous skin grafting) have also be described as effective to manage segmental vitiligo.
I hope this helps.
Mystery solved! Remember, If you ever have a question about vitiligo, just ask me by leaving a comment here. I will do my best to answer or find someone with the knowledge to answer the question properly.