The following is a summary of “Efficacy and Safety of 5-Fluorouracil Tattooing to Repigment Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis: A Split-Body Randomized Trial,” published in the June 2023 issue of the Dermatologic Surgery by Arbache et al.
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH) is a prevalent skin condition for which no prescribed treatment exists. The OBJECTIVE compares the efficacy and safety of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and saline, administered via a tattoo machine, for depigmenting IGH lesions. This randomized, single-masked, split-body study recruited adults with symmetrical IGH lesions. A tattoo machine was administered 5FU to IGH lesions on one limb and saline to the opposite limb.
The outcomes were the outcomes of several achromic lesions 30 days after treatment compared to baseline, patient satisfaction, and local or systemic adverse events. There were 29 patients, 28 of which were female. The median number of achromic lesions decreased significantly in 5FU-treated limbs (baseline: 32, interquartile range (IQR) 23–37 × post-treatment: 12, IQR 6–18, p = .000003) and saline-treated limbs (baseline: 31, IQR 24–43 × post-treatment: 21, IQR 16–31, p = .000006), but reduction was significantly more pronounced in 5FU-treated limbs (p = .00003).
All participants were either satisfied or delighted with the findings of the 5FU treatment. There were no side effects. To re-pigment IGH lesions, 5-fluorouracil delivery using a tattoo machine was more productive than saline, with high patient satisfaction and no adverse effects.