No drug can stop the process of vitiligo — the loss of pigment cells (melanocytes). But some drugs, used alone or with light therapy, can help restore some skin tone.
Applying a corticosteroid cream to affected skin may help return color, particularly if you start using it early in the disease. You may not see a change in your skin's color for several months. This type of cream is effective and easy to use. But it can cause side effects, such as skin thinning or the appearance of streaks or lines on your skin. Milder forms of the drug may be prescribed for children and for people who have large areas of discolored skin.
Ointments containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus (calcineurin inhibitors) may be effective for people with small areas of depigmentation, especially on the face and neck. This treatment may have fewer side effects than corticosteroids and can be used with ultraviolet B (UVB) light. However, the Food and Drug Administration has warned about a possible link between these drugs and lymphoma and skin cancer.