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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-53

Efficacy and safety of 88% phenol application versus cryotherapy in repigmentation of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis: A prospective study

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences, Mandya, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepadarshan Kalegowda
Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, #13, OPD Block, Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences, Mandya - 571 401, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CDR.CDR_50_20

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Background: Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH) is a common, acquired dermatosis characterized by multiple, round or oval, hypopigmented to depigmented macules. A variety of therapies with variable success are described, despite that, the treatment remains still unsatisfactory and a therapeutic challenge for the treating specialist. Objective: The objective of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of 88% phenol application and cryotherapy in repigmentation of IGH macules. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 patients with more than 10 IGH macules were selected. For each enrolled patient, 88% phenol was applied to 5 IGH macules and single cryotherapy for 3–5 s was applied for another 5 IGH macules once in a month till the repigmentation for maximum of 3 applications. Patients were assessed monthly for 3 months for the side effects and improvement in pigmentation. The degree of improvement in pigmentation was assessed using a grading system, <25% - no response (Grade-1), 26%–50% - minimal (Grade-2), 51%–75% - good (Grade-3), and >75% - excellent response (Grade-4). Results: A total of 25 patients completed the study. At the end of the treatment period, out of 125 macules treated with short contact cryotherapy 75 (60%) macules showed excellent response and 20 (16%) macules showed good response. In phenol group, out of 125 macules 37 (29.6%) and 29 (23.2%) macules showed excellent and good improvement in pigmentation respectively, with P < 0.05. Side effects such as persistent scabbing, ulceration were more common with 88% phenol application compared to cryotherapy. Conclusion: Short contact cryotherapy of 3–5 s was found to be more efficacious and safe compared to therapeutic wounding with 88% phenol in inducing pigmentation of IGH macules.

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