Vitiligo pp 455-462 | Cite as

Patients’ Perspectives

  • Jean-Marie MeurantEmail author


It is important to take into account the major psychological effects of vitiligo in direct sufferers and their immediate family (parents of children, siblings, etc.) towards treatment. Above all, the seriousness of the disease should not be minimised by doctors and/or sufferers’ friends and family because doing so entails the risk of increasing the risk of isolation, depression, and self-harm, as well as weakening the doctor-patient relationship and the ability to educate the patient to follow their treatment against vitiligo and diagnosed comorbidities. Announcing a diagnosis of vitiligo may entail psychological support being arranged for sufferers, and their families, soon after the announcement, by clinical psychologists specialising in skin diseases. In addition, implementing individual or group psychological support such as support groups and/or corrective makeup workshops in individual or group sessions, assisted by professionals and clinical psychologists, is recommended in order to help sufferers cope with the difficult situations which can often arise. The use of phototherapy devices at home is recommendable for better treatment monitoring and long-term efficacy, in view of work and transport considerations. There is a need to educate patients about favourable sun exposure conditions, recommending sunscreen creams and solar-protective clothing to avoid being “shut away”, as witnessed by a large number of vitiligo sufferers. The awareness of the risks of depigmentation caused by repeated rubbing should be raised. A global care perspective enables better compliance, allowing sufferers to become less withdrawn and thus avoiding loss of self-esteem, resulting in better inclusion in family, school, and professional life.

Providing information about any local vitiligo sufferers’ associations is important: these are useful points of contact for the various players in the healthcare system, overcoming the isolation of sufferers, speaking on their behalf, and moderating their statements by providing objective information and serving as credible references.


  1. 1.
    Haykal K-A, DesGroseilliers J-P. Are narrow-band ultraviolet B home units a viable option for continuous or maintenance therapy of photoresponsive diseases? J Cutan Med Surg. 2006;10(5):234–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Association Française du VitiligoParisFrance

Personalised recommendations