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Stem Cells from Hair Follicles May Hold Key to Vitiligo Treatment

image from www.nature.com Vitiligo is a disorder characterized by patchy loss of skin pigmentation due to immune attacks on melanocytes.  In cases where the vitiligo resolves spontaneously or with anti-inflammatory treatments, pigmentation returns to the skin starting at the areas where hair follicles reside.

A recent article in Journal of Investigative Dermatology described Repigmentation during recovery from vitiligo. "During the active phase of vitiligo, cutaneous melanocytes are destroyed. During recovery, as seen in this clinical image of a patient's leg (a), the destroyed melanocytic cells can be replaced. These new melanocytes appear to be derived from a protected population of cells within the hair follicle as shown in these dermoscopic images (b and c) from two patients recovering from vitiligo."

The question is then asked, "could hair transplantation be used to restore pigmentation to those areas depigmented by permanent vitiligo?"

If you have permanent vitligo, we would like to hear from you.  Please email doctorb@baumanmedical.com for information on clinical trials to address permanent vitiligo using hair follicle / stem cell transplantation. 

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