Why are some areas harder to repigment then others ?

vitiligo repigmentation

In vitiligo, some areas are harder to repigment then others. For example areas such as ankles, hands and feet don't respond as well to UV treatment as do areas such as the face or neck. A team of researchers at the University of Cairo attempted to determine what is the cause of these differences.

They prelevated skin biopsies before and after PUVA therapy and observed that the chemical changes were similar in both regions but repigmentation was slow to occur on hands and feet. Other areas responded positively and showed signs of repigmentation.

The factors thought to have an influence are:
- the lower melanocyte density in acral regions (limbs and other extremities)
- lower number of melanocyte stem cell reservoirs

Esmat, S.M., El-Tawdy, A.M., Hafez, G.A., Zeid, O.A., Abdel Halim, D.M., Saleh, M.A., Leheta, T.M. and ElMofty, M. (2012), Acral lesions of vitiligo: why are they resistant to photochemotherapy?. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 26: 1097–1104. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04215.x



Submitted by Adelle on

I am having trouble to regain pigment in my elbow with nbUVB (3 months into treatment). Any indications on what I could try ?

Submitted by Jonathan on

I had success with a folic acid b vitamin supplement. Elbow was the first spot to repigment. However, it only made it to about 75% repigmentation for some reason.

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