Indexed with PubMed and Science Citation Index (E) 
Users online: 482 
     Home | Feedback | Login 
About Current Issue Archive Ahead of print Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe What's New Contact  
    Next article
    Previous article
    Table of Contents

    Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
  Related articles
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded419    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2013  |  Volume : 79  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 679--685

The psychosocial impact of vitiligo in Indian patients

1 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
M Ramam
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.116737

Rights and Permissions

Background: Vitiligo has a special significance in Indian patients both because depigmentation is obvious on darker skin and the enormous stigma associated with the disease in the culture. Aims: This study was carried out to determine the beliefs about causation, aspects of the disease that cause concern, medical, and psychosocial needs of the patients, expectation from treatment and from the treating physician, and effects of disease on the patient's life. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 50 patients with vitiligo. Purposive sampling was used to select subjects for the study. Each interview was recorded on an audio-cassette and transcripts were analyzed to identify significant issues and concerns. Results: Patients had a range of concerns regarding their disease such as physical appearance, progression of white patches onto exposed skin and the whole body, ostracism, social restriction, dietary restrictions, difficulty in getting jobs, and they considered it to be a significant barrier to getting married. The condition was perceived to be a serious illness. Stigma and suicidal ideation was reported. While there were several misconceptions about the cause of vitiligo, most patients did not think their disease was contagious, heritable or related to leprosy. Multiple medical consultations were frequent. Complete repigmentation was strongly desired, but a lesser degree of repigmentation was acceptable if progression of disease could be arrested. The problems were perceived to be more severe in women. The disease imposed a significant financial burden. Conclusion: Addressing psychosocial factors is an important aspect of the management of vitiligo, particularly in patients from communities where the disease is greatly stigmatizing.


Print this article     Email this article

Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow