Compound may reverse gray hair, vitiligo

May 7, 2013

A novel compound reduces oxidative stress that results in the loss of pigment in hair, signaling a potential treatment breakthrough for gray hair and vitiligo, according to results of a study.

 

A novel compound reduces oxidative stress that results in the loss of pigment in hair, signaling a potential treatment breakthrough for gray hair and vitiligo, according to results of a study.

Researchers with E.M. Arndt University, Greifswald, Germany, and colleagues analyzed 2,411 patients with vitiligo. Among those patients, 2.4 percent had strictly segmental vitiligo and 3.2 percent were diagnosed with mixed vitiligo, which is strictly segmental vitiligo and nonsegmental vitiligo, according to a news release.

Patients with strictly segmental vitiligo within a certain nerval distribution of the skin and eyelashes showed the same oxidative stress that was seen in nonsegmental vitiligo, which is associated with decreased antioxidant capacities, such as the repair mechanisms methionine sulfoxide reductases. These findings allowed researchers to repigment eyelashes and skin with a topical UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS.

The massive accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles was reversed using the compound.

“For the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed,” Gerald Weismann, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal, in which the study was published, stated in a news release. “While this is exciting news, what’s even more exciting is that this also works for vitiligo.”