Author(s): Falabella R
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Vitiligo therapy is difficult. Depending on its clinical presentation, unilateral or bilateral vitiligo lesions respond well with different repigmentation rates, according to age, affected anatomic area, extension of lesions, time at onset, timing of depigmentation spread, and other associated factors. When stable and refractory to medical treatment, vitiligo lesions may be treated by implanting pigment cells on depigmented areas. OBJECTIVE: To describe the main events of depigmentation and the fundamentals of surgical techniques for repigmenting vitiligo by implanting noncultured cellular or tissue grafts, in vitro cultured epidermis-bearing pigment cells, or melanocyte suspensions. METHODS: A description of the available techniques for repigmentation of vitiligo is done, emphasizing the most important details of each procedure to obtain the best repigmentation and minimize side effects. RESULTS: With most of these techniques, adequate repigmentation is obtained, although there are limitations when applying some methods to clinical practice. CONCLUSIONS: Restoration of pigmentation may be accomplished with all available surgical procedures in most anatomic locations, but they are of little value for acral areas. Unilateral vitiligo responds well in a high proportion of patients, and bilateral disease may also respond when stable. Appropriate patient selection is important to achieve the best results.
This article was published in Dermatol Surg
and referenced in Hair Therapy & Transplantation