Background: Vitiligo, a common disorder of depigmentation, is often difficult to treat. Corticosteroids are known to be effective, but with modest results. Although simvastatin has been reported to be effective for immunorelated dermatologic disorders including vitiligo, controlled trials are lacking. This study was conducted to compare the efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate 0.1% cream (as a standard method of treatment for vitiligo) versus a combination of betamethasone valerate plus oral simvastatin in the treatment of vitiligo. Materials and Methods: Eighty-eight subjects with symmetric vitiligo who had body surface involvement up to 20% were divided randomly into two groups. Group A were treated with betamethasone valerate 01% cream twice daily and Group B with betamethasone valerate 01% cream twice daily and oral simvastatin 80 mg daily for 12 weeks. Finally, 46 patients completed treatment after 12 weeks in both groups. The results were evaluated by a blind dermatologist using Vitiligo Area Scoring Index (VASI) score at baseline, 4th, 8th, and 12th week of treatment. In a similar way, subjective assessment performed by patients based on photo evaluation at the end of the study. Results: Despite a continuous reduction in VASI score in both groups, according to both physician (P = 0.13) and patient (P = 0.374) assessment oral simvastatin was not statistically more effective than conventional treatment of vitiligo. Conclusion: This study indicates that oral simvastatin is not associated with significant impacts in the treatment of vitiligo as compared to other inflammatory dermatologic conditions such as psoriasis. Indeed, other studies should be initiated regarding exact molecular and cellular effects of statins in the treatment of vitiligo.
Palermo B, Campanelli R, Garbelli S, Mantovani S, Lantelme E, Brazzelli V, et al. Specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses against Melan-A/MART1, tyrosinase and gp100 in vitiligo by the use of major histocompatibility complex/peptide tetramers: The role of cellular immunity in the etiopathogenesis of vitiligo. J Invest Dermatol 2001;117:326-32.
Yamashita M, Otsuka F, Mukai T, Otani H, Inagaki K, Miyoshi T, et al. Simvastatin antagonizes tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibition of bone morphogenetic proteins-2-induced osteoblast differentiation by regulating Smad signaling and Ras/Rho-mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. J Endocrinol 2008;196:601-13.