Simvastatin Found to Be Effective for Vitiligo Patients with Dyslipidemia

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New research suggests the use of simvastatin treatment may be helpful for patients with nonsegmental vitiligo and dyslipidemia.

A daily regimen of 80 mg of simvastatin may be effective as a treatment for nonsegmental vitiligo patients with dyslipidemia, according to a recent study.

Vitiligo’s metabolic disturbances are potentially the results of decreases in melanocytes and melanogenesis of the adipose tissue. These metabolic disturbances may be found in vitiligo patients.

Statins are frequently used for treatment of dyslipidemia, an imbalance of lipids like cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides. This study, led by Engi Seif E. Shaker, of the Tanta University Faculty of Medicine, sought to examine statins and their relationship to lipid imbalances in vitiligo patients.

“There is a paucity of data about the impact of systemic statins on vitiliginous lesions in non- segmental vitiligo patients,” and colleagues wrote. “To the best of our knowledge, no other studies have considered the correlation between lipid disturbances and (VIDA) score. We sought in this study to evaluate the influence of simvastatin on vitiliginous lesions in non-segmental vitiligo patients with dyslipidemia and study the correlation between VIDA score and lipid profile.”


The study involved a clinical trial, during which 120 patients with nonsegmental vitiligo (NSV) were recruited as participants. Of these vitiligo patients, 79 reported dyslipidemia and were given 80 mg of simvastatin daily, though only 63 continued for the full length of the trial. The 80 mg daily process continued until the normalization of patients’ lipid profiles or until 4 months had passed.

The investigators also included 60 healthy individuals as a control group in the trial with the patients being well-matched in age, gender and BMI. During the trial, the investigators ascertained participants’ lipid profiles, Vitiligo Area Severity Index (VASI) scores, and Vitiligo Disease Activity Scores (VIDA) prior to and then 6 months after the end of their simvastatin treatment.

Using blood samples, the study’s investigators assessed both groups’  triglycerides (TG), serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) through the use of an enzymatic colorimetric test.


The study results indicated that there was a statistically significant, positive correlation between LDL and LDL/HDL ratio as well as between VIDA and serum levels of total cholesterol. The investigators also found that participants’ serum TC, LDL, , HDL, VLDL, TG, and LDL/HDL ratios demonstrated statistically significant increases in vitiligo patients compared to those in the control arm (P˂0.001).

Additionally, the researchers found that simvastatin substantially improved participants’ lipid profiles as well as decreasing VIDA significantly (P<0.011).

“Simvastatin 80 mg daily could be a helpful treatment for NSV patients with dyslipidemia, controlling the vitiligo activity and protecting against the hazardous effects of dyslipidemia,” they wrote. “Better results can be obtained in patients with short duration of the disease.”

This study, “Simvastatin and Non-Segmental Vitiligo: A New Potential Treatment Option?” was published in Dermatologic Therapy.