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June 1995

Cutaneous Malignancies in Patients Treated With Psoralen Photochemotherapy (PUVA) for Vitiligo

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Howard University Hospital 2041 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20060

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(6):734-735. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690180114025

Vitiligo is an acquired, sometimes familial, depigmentation disorder of the skin and hair. Oral or topical psoralen photochemotherapy (PUVA) is the most popular and efficacious treatment currently available in the United States for repigmentation of vitiliginous patches.1 However, the long-term safety of this treatment is still under investigation, and further studies are warranted.

There are limited published studies examining the long-term risk in patients with vitiligo who have been treated with oral PUVA therapy. We found no published studies examining the long-term risk in patients with vitiligo treated with topical PUVA therapy. A study of 59 patients with vitiligo, who received oral PUVA therapy from 1972 through 1986, reported no incidence of skin cancers, actinic keratoses, or lentigines.2 Likewise, a 1984 study examining 596 East Indian patients with vitiligo, who were treated with oral psoralen and sunlight (PUVASOL), reported that no increased risk of cutaneous carcinoma was apparent

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