June 25: World Vitiligo Day

The World Vitiligo Day, observed on June 25 every year, is an initiative aimed to build global awareness about Vitiligo. It occurs in 1-2% of the population worldwide and entails a loss of colour in the skin that creates various patterns due to loss of pigment. Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder – this can actually cause a significant negative social and/or psychological impact on patients, mainly because of numerous misconceptions that still exist in large parts of the world. (1)

The first World Vitiligo Day was held in 2011 and has since turned into an annual global event. In fact, over the years, the purpose of this day has broadened from raising awareness about the disease to include recognition of the bullying, social neglect, mental trauma and challenges of millions of people suffering from this skin disease. (2)

Trioxsalen for treating Vitiligo

On this occasion, let us discuss Trioxsalen (Trimethylpsoralen, Trioxysalen or Trisoralen), which belongs to the genre of medicines called psoralens. Being a photosensitizer, it is used along with ultraviolet light (found in sunlight and some special lamps) in a treatment called psoralen plus ultraviolet light A (PUVA) to treat Vitiligo. The medicine may also be used for other conditions, as determined by the doctor. Since it is a powerful medication, it can only be administered with a doctor’s prescription.

As of now, it has been discontinued by its manufacturer (since December 2002). (3)

Working methodology

Trioxsalen is a furanocoumarin and a psoralen derivative obtained from several plants, mainly Psoralea Corylifolia. Like other psoralens, it causes photosensitization of the skin. It is administered either topically or orally in conjunction with UV-A (the least damaging form of ultraviolet light) for phototherapy treatment of Vitiligo. The photo-activated form produces interstrand linkages in DNA, resulting in cell apoptosis. (4)


This medication exhibits the strongest efficacy when consumed by mouth as directed with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. It is usually taken 2-4 hours before exposure to UV light. It is advised not to increase the dosage or consume more often than prescribed. (5)

Side effects (6)

The minor and major side effects of this drug include:

  • Blistering and peeling of skin
  • Reddened and sore skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling of feet or legs
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Mental depression
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping

Precautions (5)

  • The doctor must be informed if the patient is suffering from liver diseases, eye problems, heart condition or any history of cancer or allergies.
  • This medicine should be only be taken if required under dire circumstances during pregnancy, that too after discussing the risks and benefits with the doctor. It is not known if this medication is found in breast milk – once again, the doctor will be the best guide.
  • The medical practitioner must be apprised of any over-the-counter or prescription medication the patient may take, especially if they are sulfa or tetracycline antibiotics, water pills, griseofulvin, phenothiazines and coal tar products.
  • Ingestion of certain foods like lime, figs, carrots, celery, mustard and parsley may increase the risk of side effects of this medication.
  • It is important not to start or stop this drug without the guidance of the doctor.

Creating a mark in the industry

Shubham Pharmachem Pvt. Ltd. is a leading pharmaceutical organization with core competencies in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), herbal extracts, nutraceutical ingredients as well as cosmetic ingredients. Over the last three decades now, the company has enjoyed stupendous success vis-a-vis manufacturing and distribution services across the globe in this critical industry.

This top brand is committed to increasing access to premium healthcare by developing, producing, and exporting a wide array of affordable pharmaceutical products. State-of-the-art infrastructure boosted by technologically advanced equipment and tools is the hallmarks of this reputed player in this vital sector.

For more information, visit www.shubham.co.in


Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.


  1. Wikipedia [online]
    Available at : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Vitiligo_Day
  2. Vitiligo Research Foundation[online]
    Available at : https://vrfoundation.org/wvd
  3.  MayoClinic [online]
    Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/trioxsalen-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20066527?p=1
  4. PubChem [online]
    Available at : https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/trioxsalen
  5. MedicineNet [online]
    Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/trioxsalen-oral/article.htm
  6. Practo [online]
    Available at: https://www.practo.com/medicine-info/trioxsalen-281-api