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    Narrowband UV-B (NBUVB) phototherapy is the mainstay of vitiligo treatment, but hyperpigmentation is one of the limitations. Meanwhile, topical tretinoin is effective against pigmentary disorders. To determine whether tretinoin 0.05% cream would prevent hyperpigmentation when patients with facial vitiligo underwent phototherapy. A randomized, controlled, split-face trial was conducted. Adult patients with stable, non-segmental facial vitiligo were enrolled. The left/right sides of the face were randomly allocated to receive either topical tretinoin 0.05% cream or moisturizer twice daily. The entire face was subjected to NBUVB phototherapy twice weekly for 12 weeks. The degree of hyperpigmentation was assessed as the delta L* (brightness) value of the darkest spot in each side of the face at baseline and every 4 weeks. The degree of repigmentation was assessed. Twenty-five patients were enrolled; 21 completed the study. The delta L* value was significantly different between the two groups: -0.5% in the tretinoin group and -8.7% in the control group at 12 weeks (p = .002). Marked repigmentation was achieved in 15 patients of both groups. Tretinoin 0.05% cream prevented hyperpigmentation during NBUVB phototherapy in patients with facial vitiligo, and did not compromise the overall treatment response. NCT03933774.


    Hyun Jeong Ju, Soo Hyung Kim, Ji Hae Lee, Gyong Moon Kim, Jung Min Bae. Efficacy and safety of tretinoin 0.05% cream to prevent hyperpigmentation during narrowband UV-B phototherapy in patients with facial vitiligo: a randomized clinical trial. The Journal of dermatological treatment. 2022 May;33(3):1738-1741

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    PMID: 32869680

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