Increased Vitamin D Via Narrow Band UVB Therapy May Improve Vitiligo Symptoms

According to a recent case-control study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) therapy increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and decreases symptoms in patients with vitiligo.

NV-UVB is a common therapy for vitiligo, and in nonsegmental vitiligo covering at least 20% of the body surface, it is the first-line treatment. NV-UVB mimics natural UVB, present in sunlight and known to increase vitamin D levels, which may play a role in the proliferation and migration of melanocytes.

The aim of the study was to assess the change in vitamin D levels from NV-UVB therapy in relation to symptomatic improvement of vitiligo.

Patients for this study were recruited from the outpatient division of the Clinic of Dermatology at Qena University Hospital, South Valley University, Egypt. The clinical sample comprised 80 adult patients with generalized vitiligo and 20 age- and sex-matched control patients.

NB-UVB was administered 2 times per week for 24 weeks. Dermatological assessments were made using the Vitiligo Area Severity Index at baseline and 24 weeks. Serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at 0, 12, and 24 weeks in patients and at 0 weeks only in control participants.

Serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients vs control participants at week 0 (34.64±3.03 nmol/L vs 76.70±10.73 nmol/L; P <.0001). Significant improvement from baseline was observed at weeks 12 and 24 (49.77±2.79 nmol/L and 67.94±3.53 nmol/L, respectively; P <.0001).

Concurrently, patients showed a significant improvement in Vitiligo Area Severity Index score from baseline to 24 weeks (4.37±0.455 to 3.54±0.401; P <.0001).

Related Articles

“Cumulative doses of NB-UVB therapy improve low vitamin D levels in patients with vitiligo, which might have a significant role in NB-UVB-induced repigmentation and may contribute to its therapeutic efficacy,” the authors wrote.

“Further studies with larger sample size including patients and controls are needed to prove the complete mechanism of NB-UVB-induced pigmentations and vitamin D in vitiligo.”


Ibrahim H, El Taieb M, El Gamel Z, et al. Effect of narrow-band ultraviolet B on the serum of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in vitiligo patients [published online March 10, 2018]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12515