Management of vitiligo. Results of a questionnaire among dermatologists in The Netherlands

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BackgroundSeveral therapeutic options are available for the treatment of vitiligo. Concern exists that there is no uniform approach towards the management of vitiligo among Dutch dermatologists.MethodsA written survey concerning the management of vitiligo was sent to 332 dermatologists in The Netherlands.ResultsThe response rate was 86%. "Giving information and reassurance concerning the nature of disease" was regarded by most dermatologists (68%) as being the most important goal in the management of vitiligo. Only 16% of the dermatologists aimed for active treatment in vitiligo. The reported therapy choices in children resembled those of adults, except that slightly more dermatologists did not prescribe active therapy in children. Nine different therapeutic modalities were mentioned as first choice therapies. Topical corticosteroids were indicated by most dermatologists as first choice therapy (241 out of 266, i.e. 91%); however, only 2% indicated that 50% or more of the patients achieved a successful treatment; 66% found that less than 25% of the patients were successfully treated with topical corticosteroids. Only 15% of the respondents reported that 50% or more of the patients were treated successfully with narrow-band UVB. The observed response profile to broad-band UVB therapy was found to be comparable with that of narrow-band UVB. The classical therapy with oral psoralen plus UVA (PUVA) was prescribed as first choice therapy by only 12% (32 out of 266) of the dermatologists. Only 6% of these respondents observed that 50% or more of the patients achieved successful therapy using oral PUVA. The recommended maximum treatment duration for topical corticosteroids, oral PUVA, and UVB therapy was found to vary from 3 to 12 months.ConclusionsMost dermatologists in The Netherlands do not offer active treatment in vitiligo, probably because the estimated effectiveness of (nonsurgical) repigmentation therapy is low. In cases where treatment is prescribed, there appears to be no consensus on the choice of therapies and treatment strategies. The development of practice guidelines may be helpful in reducing inappropriate care and improving treatment outcome.

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