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February 1999

Treatment of Vitiligo With Oral and Topical Phenylalanine: 6 Years of Experience

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(2):216-217. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-2-dlt0299

Vitiligo is currently considered a depigmented dermatosis with several options for treatment. Since 1985, several articles1,2 have been published about treatment with oral and topical phenylalanine with encouraging results. Phenylalanine is not phototoxic and it induces tolerance to sun exposure of the vitiligoid skin areas, which usually tend to burn, allowing the use in children.3 The hypothesis of Cormane et al2 to explain its action maintained that phenylalanine acts as an inhibitor of cytolitic antibodies and allows sun radiation to stimulate the migration of melanocytes from the adjacent areas and the production of melanine in the damaged, yet undestroyed, melanocytes of the epidermis or the follicular bulb.1,2 In 1987, we began to carry out a protocol in our patients with vitiligo that has been adjusted to obtain the most suitable dose and mode of administration. In 1989, Antoniou et al4 published a new method for the local and systemic treatment of vitiligo, and we currently use this method.

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