Dermatologists and Skin Care

Surgical Management of Vitiligo

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jul 28, 2016 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  1 min read



Surgery for vitiligo is a good option for a patient who is not responding to medical treatment. But, patients are not aware of this option. This article discusses about surgical management of vitiligo.

Surgical Management of Vitiligo

Vitiligo, also known as white patch disease, is characterized by amelanotic or hypomelanotic patches anywhere over the body. Till date, there is no definite etiology known for vitiligo. This skin disease has great social consequences in our modern society in spite of it being non-contagious in nature.

Stages of Vitiligo

Vitiligo can be divided into three stages:

  1. Active or progressive stage.
  2. Stable or quiescent stage.
  3. Repigmenting stage.
  • Active or progressive disease stage is when the depigmented lesions or white patches are increasing in size or number and borders are not well defined.
  • Stable or quiescent disease stage is when there are no new lesions or patches or changes in existing lesions and borders are well defined.
  • Repigmenting disease stage is where there is a marginal pigmentation around hair follicles.

Surgical Treatment for Vitiligo

Various modalities have been used to treat vitiligo, which include phototherapy, photochemotherapy, topical and systemic steroids, immunomodulating agents like Levamisole, calcineurin inhibitors like Tacrolimus, etc. Many patients get complete repigmentation with medical treatment, but a vast number of patients do not respond satisfactorily to medical treatment. Hence, the need for surgical treatment is required.

Surgical treatment for vitiligo is indicated when the diseases is stable and resistant to conventional medical therapy. The advantage of surgical treatment is that it provides long-lasting pigmentary cover over a short period of time.

There are various surgical modalities such as

  1. Punch grafting.
  2. Thin split thickness skin grafting.
  3. Suction blister grafting.
  4. Tattooing.
  5. Dermabrasion.
  6. Cultured skin grafting.
  7. Others, including trypsinised autologous grafting, excision, etc.

Surgical treatment for vitiligo is indicated for patches resistant and stable for at least one year of time. If small area or small patches are depigmented, then it can be treated with the punch grafting and suction blister grafting. If large area or large patches are involved, then thin split thickness skin grafting, dermabrasion and culture techniques like melanocytes transplantation are useful.

To know more about the treatment options of vitiligo, consult a vitiligo specialist online -->

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  1 min read


Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat

Related Questions & Answers

What could be the best medicine for allergic rhinitis?

Query: Hi, I am currently using Duonase nasal spray and Odimont LC for the allergic rhinitis. I am getting mild fever after taking Duonase. Is it safe to take Duonase? Can I take Paracetamol for fever while using Duonase? Is there any alternative for Duonase without steroids?  Read Full >>

Dr. Alok Rathi
ENT Otolaryngologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Duonase (combination of Azelastine hydrochloride and Fluticasone propionate) is a topical corticosteroid and is safe. Yes, you can take Paracetamol for fever. For allergic rhinitis, topical steroids are to be taken. Alternative treatment is to avoid the possible allergen...  Read Full

White patches developed on spots where corticosteroid was applied. Is it vitiligo?

Query: Hi doctor, My daughter has skin lesions that started last year. They are on one side of the body. Initially, she got eczema kind small red rashes for which we applied Corticosteroid and later we observed whitish patches developing on those spots. Initially, the GP thought it could be tinea versicolo...  Read Full >>

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have gone through your history and clinical photographs (attachment removed to protect patient identity). From the present situation, it looks to be vitiligo. Since it is on one side of the body, it can be called as segmental vitiligo also. Tacrolimus is the right m...  Read Full

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Hypopigmented Patches or Phototherapy?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.



Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.