The FDA recently approved a cream, ruxolitinib (Opzelura) to treat the most common form of vitiligo, an autoimmune skin condition that manifests as loss of pigment that often affects the face, trunk, extremities, and hands. Results from the study trial revealed that 50% of the patients with involvement of the face, trunk, or extremities got half of their pigment back at 1 year and for the face alone, 50% of the patients got 75% of their pigment back. Ruxolitinib is a type of janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor which works by blocking an immunologic pathway involved in causing the condition. While serious side effects may occur in patients taking oral JAK inhibitors for other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, this has not been the case with the use of ruxolitinib cream. The most common side effects with the later include mild acne (6%) and application site redness and itching (2-5%).
Ruxolitinib (Opzelura) was also approved in 2021 to treat mild to moderate eczema (atopic dermatitis) in patients 12 years or older without underlying immune compromise whose eczema isn’t adequately controlled with other topical prescription medications.
If you have questions about vitiligo, eczema, or other skin conditions and available treatments, please schedule a consultation with your dermatologist.