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?
United Nations ECOSOC session
The tenth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will take place from Tuesday 13 to Thursday ...13 June 2017 10:00, UN Plaza, New York
World Vitiligo Day celebration conference in Detroit, USA
U.S. World Vitiligo Day 2017 Theme: "Step Up for Vitiligo: A Call for Truth, Hope and Change!" Reflecting the mission of the “Step Up for Vitiligo” campaign that came...23 June 2017 18:00, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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 ...
I have vitiligo: will my children have vitiligo, too?
In some cases vitiligo seems to be inherited and run in families, with children whose parents have vitiligo being at increased risk of developing the condition themsel...
Is there a special diet for vitiligo?
We have specifically looked into claims that some food supplements or special diet may ease symptoms of vitiligo, or completely reverse it, and found no firm scientifi...
Can Scenesse be used for vitiligo treatment?
The drug Scenesse from Clinuvel has been tested in clinical trials in relation vitiligo. Profs. Henry Lim, Mark Lebwohl and coauthors reported (PubMed) results of mult...