Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

 Vitiligo research    

Vitiligo causes loss of skin pigmentation, which can have a considerable psychological impact

Research overview

Vitiligo is a common condition causing loss of pigmentation in patches of skin. Although vitiligo may be more noticeable in darker skin, it can have a considerable effect on psychological wellbeing in anyone who is affected by the condition. 

Many previous clinical trials of treatments for vitiligo have been small or poorly designed. There has also been wide variation in the outcome measures used to measure the effects of vitiligo treatments. We have addressed these issues by:

  • identifying vitiligo research questions that patients and doctors are the most important ones to answer
  • deciding a core set of outcome measures to be included in future vitiligo trials
  • developing and running clinical trials to assess new treatments for vitiligo
Recent projects

HI-LIGHT Vitiligo Trial - Examining whether UV-light (used at home) and topical steroids help vitiligo.

Maxine Whitton MBE, shares her experience of taking part in one of our vitiligo trials.

Vitiligo Prioritisation Partnership - Training on how to use hand-held narrowband ultraviolet light (NB-UVB) devices safely 

Vitiligo Noticeability scale - A patient-rated outcome measure assessing the acceptability of treatment response. 


Outcomes & diagnostics

Vitiligo Noticeability scale
A patient-rated outcome measure assessing the acceptability of treatment response. 

Core Outcomes for Vitiligo
Developing a Core Outcome Set for vitiligo - International Initiative for outcomes for vitiligo trials (INFO)



Using hand-held light devices for vitiligo
Training on how to use hand-held narrowband ultraviolet light (NB-UVB) devices safely.

How to perform a MED test
A training resource to demonstrate how to perform an Minimal Erythema Dose (MED) test.

Maps of systematic reviews Maps of systematic reviews on vitiligo by topic

Handbook for using NB-UVB Light Devices and topical corticosteroids A guide for  local medical teams developing protocols for home treatment of vitiligo.


All projects

 Project Description Funding Status
HI-LIGHT Vitiligo Trial A clinical trial testing the effectiveness of home-based ultraviolet B (UVB) light therapy using hand-held units and topical steroid for the treatment of vitiligo. NIHR HTA 12/24/02 Published; Main trial, Economic evaluation
Vitiligo Prioritisation Partnership Working in collaboration with the James Lind Alliance to establish treatment uncertainties that should be prioritised for further research NIHR PGfAR - RP-PG-0407-10177 Published
Pilot HI-LIGHT Vitiligo Trial Pilot trial of light therapy for the treatment of vitiligo at home NIHR PGfAR - RP-PG-0407-10177 Published
Vitiligo Outcome Measures An international consensus study on what should be measured in future vitiligo trials NIHR PGfAR - RP-PG-0407-10177 Published

Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
Applied Health Research Building
University Park, Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68631
email: cebd@nottingham.ac.uk