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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Are Azathioprine and Methoxsalen effective at treating vitiligo?

Answered by
Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1970

Answered : 6855 Questions

Posted on Thu, 11 Oct 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I have vitiligo last around 15-18 years, In 2017 my vitiligo patches are stabled and did melanocytes transplantation in February 2017 but doctor did not touch patch at around finger. I am everyday taking Methosalen10 mg and Azathioprine 50 mg each tablets. I am worry about patches on finger and 2-3 small patched on my body.
Answered by Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

Be in touch with the treating expert

Detailed Answer:


Fingers being revealed all day. To be concerned about the patches on them is natural. You had had successful transplantation of melanocytes on other parts of the body.

But transplantation does not treat the disease but treats stable patches cosmetically.

For transplantation the patches need to be stable. Doctor avoided treating the patches on fingers & other small ones because they must have been progressive & not stabled (There was no point in treating these patches for they would keep on progressing / would not accept the transplant)

Doctor is trying to treat/ stabilize the lesions by medications ( Methosalen -10, a medicine for repigmentation ) & Azathioprine( Immuno Suppressant for treating the cause).

In such a scenario, you should keep in contact with the treating doctor for remaining work. In case the patches on hand & others on body get stabilized grafting would be helpful.

A test for grafting can be carried out followed by grafting. Even fingers can be treated successfully with Melanocyte grafting, only wait for stabilizing of the lesion &continue with medicines to treat the basic cause of vitiligo & Try to prevent its progress.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Follow up: Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale 18 hours later
Thank you for reply
At present I am living other countries so its not possible to go there and do again melanocytes Transplantation again for remaining patches.
so Please let me know good medicine to re pigment my remaining patches.

Answered by Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale 5 hours later
Brief Answer:

Change psychological set up & continue the treatment.

Detailed Answer:


Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition where pigment-producing cells in the skin are destroyed & colour of skin gets white.

The condition does not have any other bad effect on health, so only the social stigma & patient's psychology is a challenge in management.

Being autoimmune it is very difficult/slow to control. Medicines do not have an instant effect. Especially on hand lesions. Cosmetically covering the area with hand gloves/ use of cosmetic camouflage creams is suggested while you continue to take medications.

There are options for re pigmentation-but the medicines you have been suggested are good. Methoxsalen- 10 can be replaced by Melanocyl, but regular & patient intake is a must for getting some result. Be in touch with your treating doctor.

There are good options in Ayurvedic & Homoeopathic medicines. If you want to try, consult concerned experts.

Thus a psychological readiness to accept the condition (understanding that it is not at all likely to attack your general health & health is wealth, patient care & medication is the real management of Vitiligo.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Vasudha Jayant Athavale, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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