Author(s): CalanchiniPostizzi E, Frenk E
Vitiligo provides a model system for studying chronic actinic damage in skin devoid of melanin pigments and thereby permits assessment of their photoprotective function. Our study comprised 23 patients with a mean age of 67 years having stable, long-lasting vitiligo on light-exposed body regions. The vitiliginous and normally pigmented, light-exposed skin was examined clinically for manifestations of chronic actinic damage. In 11 patients skin biopsies were obtained from vitiliginous and adjacent pigmented skin for qualitative and quantitative histological comparison. Our study did not reveal evidence for a significant increase of chronic actinic damage in skin devoid of melanin pigments. These results are in agreement with the rareness of reported skin cancer in vitiligo.