Quality of Life and Stigmatization Profile in a Cohort of Vitiligo Patients and Effect of the Use of Camouflage

Dermatology. 2005;210(4):279-85. doi: 10.1159/000084751.


Background: Few studies have paid attention to the effects of treatment interventions on the psychosocial consequences of vitiligo.

Objectives: To quantify and analyse the psychosocial benefit of the use of camouflage in vitiligo patients.

Patients and methods: 78 vitiligo patients completed the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and an adapted stigmatization questionnaire, and 62 of them completed the DLQI after at least a 1-month use of camouflage.

Results: The initial mean overall DLQI score (n = 78) is 6.9 (SD 5.6). The mean global stigmatization score is 38%. Disease extent and disease severity are strong predictors of the DLQI (p < 0.0001). Vitiligo on the face/head/neck substantially affects the DLQI, independently of degree of involvement. The mean DLQI score before and after use of camouflage (n = 62) is 7.3 (SD 5.6) and 5.9 (SD 5.2; p = 0.006). Mainly the high-scoring items 'feelings of embarrassment and self consciousness' and 'choice of clothing' improve. Predictors of improvement are higher DLQI scores (p = 0.0005) and higher total severity scores (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Camouflage can be recommended, particularly in patients with higher DLQI scores or self-assessed disease severity. Patients with minor involvement of the face benefit from camouflage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Belgium
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Stereotyping*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitiligo / diagnosis
  • Vitiligo / psychology*
  • Vitiligo / therapy