Researchers at the Henry Ford hospital transferred healthy skin cells, taken from normally-pigmented areas of the body, to the damaged area of their skin which had lost color due to the condition. After the surgery, the team followed 32 patients for up to six months and found that the treated area regained on average 52 percent of its natural color. The surgery is known as melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation (MKTP).
The report, presented at the 68th Annual American Academy of Dermatology meeting in Miami, said that in some patients with specific type of vitiligo, the treated area regained on average 74 percent of its natural skin color.
Senior author of the study and a senior staff physician in Henry Ford’s Department of Dermatology Iltefat Hazavi said, “This surgery offers hope to vitiligo patients. The results achieved in our study were of obvious significance to our patients.”
Maxine Whitton, patron of the Vitiligo Society, said “We need more studies using this technique including well-designed randomized controlled trials comparing this technique with other surgical interventions such as grafting.”
Celebrities who suffer from vitiligo include Michael Jackson.
Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitiligo03.jpg; Author: Produnis