Isn't it just a cosmetic disorder?
Like it or not, we live in a society where appearance matters. It should come as no surprise that vitiligo impacts on the psychological well-being and quality of life of those who have to endure it.
For more than 1.6 million people in the US affected by vitiligo, it is far more than just a skin condition. Many people experience social rejection and stigmatization, which dramatically lowers their self-esteem. Coping with vitiligo can create stress, and stress can make vitiligo get worse, in a vicious cycle.
Vitiligo can affect people more emotionally than physically. What is truly shocking is that vitiligo is associated with an increased risk of suicide. It can often be difficult to express exactly how it makes you feel to your friends, family and even doctor. Some teens often feel that their physician regards vitiligo as a minor skin complaint and is dismissive of the emotional aspects, thus leaving many to embrace lifelong self-isolation.
When the direct and indirect financial implications of vitiligo are considered, the figures are dreadful. Direct costs include doctor visits, phototherapy and systemic treatments, that may go well above $5,000 per year. Vitiligo patients are frequently prescribed phototherapy sessions, which can take 1-2 hours off work, 2-3 times per week, for 6-9 months. This can lead to difficulties for those in demanding careers that require long hours and uninterrupted focus. Indirect costs may include a different choice of employment and neighborhood, among many.
Unfortunately, the perception of this disease as a cosmetic disorder is hard to overcome. Educating people about vitiligo, of course, isn't practical in every situation. There are times when you have to simply ignore the stares.
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
NY Vitiligo Community Meeting in September
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, September 21st, at 7PM - 8:30PM on the 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Care Center at 240 East 38th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Av...21 September 2017 19:00, 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Car...
Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the US Capitol
Save-the-Date for the much anticipated Vitiligo Advocacy Day at the United States Capitol this fall. As many of you know, the Advocacy Committee of the Global Vitilig...04 October 2017 10:00, Washington, DC
Is there a traditional medicine to treat vitiligo?
During the last decades, new methods of therapeutic research, ethno-botany and ethno-pharmacology and even archeo-pharmacology (PubMed), have been used extensively to ...
Is it possible to stop the progression of vitiligo?
It is true that vitiligo progression could be stopped in 4 out of 5 cases by the use of potent systemic corticosteroids. However, systemic corticosteroids might ha...
Why there is no drug for vitiligo yet?
Despite the dearth of medications available to treat psoriasis - a disease with similar prevalence numbers and impact on quality of life - vitiligo has no known cure o...
Can a gluten-free diet help with vitiligo?
Gluten is the spongy complex of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley, which puffs up when baked with yeast. It is important to realize there are three different...