Grafting of Epidermal Sheets for Repigmentation in Vitiligo
Many surgical techniques are rapidly evolving for management of Vitiligo through skin / melanocytes transplantation, and a new one has been studied in a research published in J W Dermatology. it may be worthwhile to mention that suction blister epidermal grafts, punch grafts, and autologous grafts of cultured keratinocyte and melanocyte have been used in the past with variable degrees of success.
The researchers took 0.1 mm epidermal sheet grafts from the buttocks with a Zimmer air dermatome and secured these grafts to the superficial dermabraded skin with depigmentation. 19 people with Vitiligo and one with piebaldism was grafted in this fashion. The sheets of epidermis were secured to the host area with silicone netting and then covered for one week with gauze soaked in saline. The patients were later encouraged to expose this grafted area to sunlight. 64% of the sites so grafted attained 5-100% repigmentation in 4-8 months. 18 % attained 50-70% repigmentation while another 18% had less than 20% success. It was further noted that people with stable lesions had more complete repigmentation.