A review of the worldwide prevalence of vitiligo in children/adolescents and adults

Int J Dermatol. 2012 Oct;51(10):1206-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05377.x. Epub 2012 Mar 27.


Background: Vitiligo is an acquired, idiopathic, and worldwide common depigmentation disorder with an estimated prevalence from 0.1 to 8%. These numbers are based on clinical population studies and field research examining inhabitants of geographically enclosed areas. Our aim was to collect all available data on the prevalence of vitiligo in the general population, paying particular attention to children/adolescent groups and adults.

Materials and methods: Screening of available literature and online databases using several key words.

Results: We found more than 50 studies that used several methods and subgroups of the general population. The prevalence of vitiligo ranges from 0.06 to 2.28%, whereas this was 0.0-2.16% in children/adolescents populations.

Conclusions: The often cited prevalence of 8% could not be confirmed after excluding clinical patient populations. Accordingly, the worldwide prevalence of vitiligo ranges between 0.5 and 2%.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Vitiligo / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult