Arthritis drug Tofacitinib Citrate cured Vitiligo patient in 5 months, Yale finds

A vitiligo cure could be on the way, thanks to researchers at Yale University. The researchers have found that a medication, which is traditionally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis actually has striking qualities in terms of coping with and even defeating vitiligo. Vitiligo is the skin condition that dermatologists say causes a loss of color in skin. Michael Jackson famously had this condition, which prompted him to receive and seek out extensive treatment options to ease the condition.

Right now the two traditional methods for coping with this disease are limited to steroid creams and light therapy. While those have seen some mild improvements with those suffering from vitiligo, this by and large does nothing to actually combat the disease. Now though, Janus kinase, a medicine issued to treat varying forms of arthritis has been shown as successful in treating the illness in the Yale study.


Brett King who led the research pointed out that, “While it’s one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this patient based on our current understanding of the disease and how the drug works.” This is a significant leap for the makers of the drug and the medical community as a whole, since the disease is still largely unknown by researchers.

The team went on to point out that, “It’s a first, and it could revolutionize treatment of an awful disease. This may be a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition.”

Clearly there is a lot of hope when it comes to combating vitiligo. This is a disease that has made life a challenge for millions of people, and now it would appear as though medical science is finally catching up with it, as well.

King and the team pointed out that they hope this is only a first step. Next, there is hope that a larger trial will take place to determine just how powerful the drug truly is in treating large numbers of patients. At that point, real celebrations can begin if progress is made with the drug. This is something that has been a serious problem for a lot of people, so addressing this now while the regulations can be handled is important, as well.

King pointed out regarding the science of medical studies that, “As we better understand the mechanisms of different diseases, targeted therapy becomes possible, and existing medications can be repurposed and/or new medications created for diseases with limited, if any, treatment options.”

In terms of cost this has an immense benefit, too. Having better tools in place to combat illnesses like this means that there is a better opportunity for people to challenge illnesses that otherwise run rampant, and while this is vitiligo today, it could be something significantly more challenging to combat tomorrow.