While the COVID-related lockdowns forced many inside, it also meant that a strong majority of vitiligo patients had to pause their treatments, thus resulting in regression of their condition. A new study led by Xinya Xu, MD, Ph.D., of Fudan University in China, discovered that patients who delayed treatment for multiple months saw a regression in treatment progress and a progression in symptoms. The study also concluded that new protocols need to be written to include future pandemic measures to avoid delays or disruptions in a patient’s treatment schedule.
“Our findings revealed the independent adverse impact of treatment delays on the progression and recurrence of vitiligo and protective effect of maintenance therapy (>2 years) against recurrence, indicating the significance of continuous treatment for halting progression and long-term maintenance therapy for preventing recurrence,” Xu and colleagues wrote.
“Therefore, teledermatology and home phototherapy would be recommended, especially for the patients with risk factors.”
[i] Xinya Xu, MD, PhD. Impact of treatment delays on vitiligo during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Retrospective Study