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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-76

Correlating melanin index to repigmentation potential: A novel prognostic tool in vitiligo

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Sawai Man Singh Medical College and Attached Hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Puneet Bhargava
D-60, Mahesh Marg, Bapu Nagar, Jaipur - 302 015, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5847.196296

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Background: Vitiligo prevails to be a skin disease with endless possibilities but no promises. Despite substantial research in pathogenesis and therapeutic modalities, the literature is deplete with technologies to predict the probabilities for repigmentation with or without therapy in the common generalized vitiligo. Aim: To correlate pretreatment melanin index in skin patches of nonsegmental vitiligo to probable extent of repigmentation following 6 months of monotherapy with a topical corticosteroid. Methods: A prospective study was conducted including thirty patients of vitiligo and their melanin index (melanin value; pigmentation index) in representative skin lesion was determined using Mexameter® MX 18. Patients were studied under three groups (A, B, and C) based on the obtained melanin indices. The extent of repigmentation following 6 months of topical therapy with mometasone furoate 0.1% cream was correlated with pretreatment melanin indices. Results: Repigmentation in Group C (mean melanin index >200) was significantly higher in terms of number of patients (P = 0.000) and area of patch coverage (P = 0.00) as against the other two groups with lower melanin indices. Conclusion: Melanin index in depigmented lesions is a useful indicator in the management of nonsegmental vitiligo to predict the repigmentation and to choose the appropriate treatment option. Mexameter is a simple, noninvasive, low cost staging, and monitoring device to estimate the melanin reservoir in vitiligo.

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