Monochromatic excimer light 308 nm in the treatment of vitiligo: a pilot study

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2003 Sep;17(5):531-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-3083.2003.00818.x.


Objective: To study the efficacy and safety of monochromatic excimer light (MEL) on 37 vitiligo patients referred to our clinic.

Methods: In a pilot study, 37 patients (17 males, 20 females) with acrofacial (n=21), focal (n=11), segmental (n=1), and generalized (n=4) vitiligo were treated twice weekly with MEL for a maximum period of 6 months.

Results: Thirty-five patients (95%) showed signs of repigmentation within the first eight treatments. The treatment resulted in good repigmentation in 16 patients, and excellent repigmentation in 18 patients. Adverse events were limited to transient erythema. In addition, some patients (n=3) not responding to prior narrow-band UVB (NB UVB) phototherapy showed good results with MEL in our series.

Conclusions: Treatment with 308 nm MEL for vitiligo may be more effective in obtaining rapid repigmentation than phototherapy with NB UVB. The results in this study are similar to those recently reported with a 308 nm excimer laser, but 308 MEL could present some advantages: the possibility of treating larger areas compared to the 308 nm excimer laser, with shorter treatment times and better patient compliance. The overall good results and the early appearance of repigmentation contribute to reducing the cumulative exposure to UV radiation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitiligo / diagnosis*
  • Vitiligo / radiotherapy*