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Ruxolitinib cream useful for treating vitiligo according to new experiments

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A topical cream whose active ingredient is used as a treatment for certain blood disorders, can be very useful to counteract vitiligo, an autoimmune skin disease that can cause blemishes or skin color loss.

The cream, based on a substance called ruxolitinib, is particularly useful in cases of facial vitiligo. Trials that led to these results were performed by a group of doctors from Tufts Medical Center in Boston, including dermatologist David Rosmarin. Currently, the causes related to vitiligo, an epidermal pathology involving skin cells, are not known with certainty.

This pathology is characterized by different levels of severity and can involve different areas of the body even if in general it affects the exposed areas, in particular the hands and face. About half of people with vitiligo develop this condition before their twenties. We are talking about nearly 50 million people in the world, 1% of the world population, data that make us understand that this is a fairly widespread disease (Micheal Jackson was also affected, for example).

In addition to not knowing the causes, the researchers failed to find even a real cure even though there are re-pigmentation treatments in addition to treatments based on phototherapy, topical corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. However, these are treatments that have limited efficacy, as Rosmarin himself recalls, and some of them, like phototherapy, can have unpleasant side effects.

The study conducted by the researchers involved 150 people with vitiligo from 30 different locations in the United States. To these people, a certain amount of ruxolitinib was applied daily to the affected areas during the two-year trials. A placebo cream was applied to others.

About half of the patients to whom the highest dose of ruxolitinib was applied showed an estimated 50% improvement in facial vitiligo. Side effects could be considered as mild (slight redness and irritation and mild acne on application sites). Rosmarin is very optimistic about the use of ruxolitinib for the treatment of vitiligo, perhaps combined with phototherapy and exposure to sunlight.

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