Treatment of vitiligo with the 308-nm excimer laser: A pilot study

James M. Spencer, Robert Nossa, Jyotendra Ajmeri

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165 Scopus citations


Background: Present vitiligo therapies require many months of treatment and often result in disappointing outcomes. Common therapeutic options include phototherapy with psoralens plus ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation and broadband or narrowband UVB radiation phototherapy. Some of these modalities require regular phototherapy sessions several times a week for up to a year to achieve a therapeutic response. Targeted phototherapy with single-wavelength laser light is a treatment alternative that may prove to be a time-efficient and effective therapeutic option for the management of vitiligo. Methods: This intervention study was designed as a before and after trial with a single arm. Twenty-nine patches of vitiligo from 18 patients (6 males and 12 females) were treated at the start of the study. Vitiligo patches were treated by using a 308-nm xenon-chloride excimer laser. Lesions were treated 3 times a week for a maximum of 12 treatments. Treatment was withheld if sunburn was observed and held until resolution. All patients had untreated vitiligo patches that served as control sites. Results: Twenty-three vitiligo patches from 12 patients received at least 6 treatments and resulted in some repigmentation in 57% of the treated patches. Eleven vitiligo patches from 6 patients received all 12 treatments and resulted in some repigmentation in 82% of the treated patches. Untreated control patches remained unchanged. Conclusion: This degree of repigmentation in a period of 2 to 4 weeks is much higher than that achieved with any other present vitiligo therapy. The xenon-chloride excimer laser may represent a new treatment modality for the management of stable vitiligo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2002


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