Content » Vol 88, Issue 5

Clinical Report

Occlusive Treatment Enhances Efficacy of Tacrolimus 0.1% Ointment in Adult Patients with Vitiligo: Results of a Placebo-controlled 12-month Prospective Study

Anke Hartmann, Eva-Bettina Bröcker, Henning Hamm
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0464


Topical tacrolimus was recently introduced as a novel therapeutic option in vitiligo. Excellent results were seen mainly on the face and neck areas. We treated 30 adult vitiligo patients with tacrolimus 0.1% ointment twice daily, and compared the results with those of placebo ointment. In 20 patients, defined areas on the right arm or leg were occluded overnight with 3 different dressings. Repigmentation was evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. Quality of life changes were assessed with the Dermatology Life Quality Index. After 6 months, treatment was stopped in 7 of 30 patients as they did not show any repigmentation, 5 of them had no occlusive therapy. After 12 months, 17 of 21 patients (81%) with facial involvement showed repigmentation of the face. Although no or minimal repigmentation occurred on the extremities when using tacrolimus ointment alone, 80% of the patients showed repigmentation on the arms when using additional occlusive, especially hydrocolloid dressings. Hands, feet and lower legs were unresponsive. The best results were obtained in patients with long-standing vitiligo. Only minimal side-effects were noted. There was no significant elevation in tacrolimus blood levels, taking into account that occlusion was performed only on limited parts of the body. In conclusion, tacrolimus 0.1% ointment proved an effective and safe treatment option for adult patients with vitiligo. Beyond the face and neck areas, repigmentation could be achieved only by additional occlusion.


Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.