Resistant non-segmental vitiligo is difficult to be treated. Ablative erbium-YAG (Er:YAG) laser has been used in the treatment of vitiligo, but the ablation of entire epidermis frustrated the compliance of patients. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of fractional Er:YAG laser followed by topical betamethasone and narrow band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) therapy in the treatment of resistant non-segmental vitiligo. The vitiligo lesions of each enrolled patient were divided into four treatment parts, which were all irradiated with NB-UVB. Three parts were, respectively, treated with low, medium, or high energy of Er:YAG laser, followed by topical betamethasone solution application. A control part was spared with laser treatment and topical betamethasone. The treatment period lasted 6 months. The efficacy was assessed by two blinded dermatologists. Treatment protocol with high energy of 1800 mJ/P of fractional Er:YAG laser followed by topical betamethasone solution and in combination with NB-UVB made 60% patients achieve marked to excellent improvement in white patches. The protocol with medium energy of 1200 mJ/P of laser assisted approximate 36% patients achieve such improvement. The two protocols, respectively, showed better efficacies than NB-UVB only protocol. However, fractional Er:YAG laser at low energy of 600 mJ/P did not provide such contributions to the treatment of vitiligo. The fractional Er:YAG laser in combination with topical betamethasone solution and NB-UVB was suitable for resistant non-segmental vitiligo. The energy of laser was preferred to be set at relatively high level.
Keywords: Er:YAG laser; Fractional; Vitiligo.