Response of Vitiligo to Narrowband Ultraviolet B and Oral Antioxidants

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Narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy (NB-UVB) is the most widely and effective therapeutic option in vitiligo. Antioxidant supplementation has also been reported to be useful. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of oral antioxidants with NB-UVB in the treatment of vitiligo. Twenty-four patients with stable vitiligo were recruited and divided randomly into 2 groups. They were treated with NB-UVB plus oral vitamin E in group A and with NB-UVB only in group B. Improvement was recorded according to the extent of repigmentation in the existing lesions. Both plasma malondialdehyde (MDA; product of lipid peroxidation) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were measured before and after treatment. Twenty patients completed the study. Marked to excellent repigmentation was noted in 72.7% and 55.6% of the patients in group A and group B, respectively. Of the patients, 70% in group A and 85% in group B experienced mild erythema. After treatment, there was a significant reduction in plasma MDA in group A than in group B, but the increase in plasma GSH was not significant. In conclusion, oral vitamin E may represent a valuable adjuvant therapy, preventing lipid peroxidation in the cellular membrane of melanocytes and increasing the effectiveness of NB-UVB.

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