Vitiligo is an acquired pigmentary disorder and its pathogenesis remains unclear. Oxidative stress is considered to be the initial pathogenic event in the melanocyte destruction. NF-E2-related factor2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor regulating the expression of detoxifying and antioxidant genes. To investigate the association of the Nrf2 gene promoter polymorphisms with vitiligo in Chinese Han population, the genotypes of -686A/G, -684G/A and -650C/A and the genotyping of variable number of tandem repeat were detected. The data were analysed by the chi-square test and the risk was evaluated by calculating OR and 95% CI. There was statistically significant difference in genotypic and allelic frequencies of -650C/A between the two groups (P < 0.05). A(-650) allele was significantly associated with the risk for vitiligo (OR = 1.724, chi(2) = 18.096). Polymorphism of the Nrf2 gene promoter at -650C/A was associated with the development of vitiligo and A(-650) allele may be one of the risk factors.