Elisabeth Manville
May 30, 2012

Skin transplant effective for patients with vitiligo

A skin transplant surgery has been proven safe and effective for restoring skin pigmentation in patients with vitiligo, according to a new study. Researchers followed 23 patients up to six months after surgery and found that they regained an average of 43 percent of their natural skin color in treated patches. In patients with localized vitiligo, the average was 68 percent. The surgery, called melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation, or MKTP, involves harvesting pigment-producing melanocyte cells from healthy skin and applying a skin cell mixture to the disease-affected areas. Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes the skin to lose color and develop white patches that vary in size and location. “We believe this new treatment option offers hope to patients of color and those with vitiligo on one side of the body or in one area of the body,” principal investigator ltefat Hamzavi said.