Therapeutic interventions to lessen the psychosocial effect of vitiligo in children: A review

Pediatr Dermatol. 2018 Jul;35(4):441-447. doi: 10.1111/pde.13517. Epub 2018 May 16.


Vitiligo commonly affects children, with half of affected individuals experiencing disease onset before the age of 20. Because childhood is a time of advancement in social and psychological development, understanding the extent of the effect of the disease and means of alleviation is crucial. Vitiligo has been shown to decrease children's quality of life, with greater distress in children with highly visible lesions and darker skin tones. This article reviews the literature regarding interventions that have been analyzed in children. Studies evaluating the effect of camouflage, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychological self-help tools, and support groups on the psychosocial aspects of vitiligo were included. The review highlights the ongoing need for studies to better understand the modalities described in this article, as well as others, such as skin dyes, bleaching creams, medical tattooing; week-long camps that cater to children with chronic skin disease; and biofeedback, that might have a role in preventing the psychosocial sequelae of childhood vitiligo.

Keywords: quality of life; vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Counseling / methods
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychosocial Support Systems
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Vitiligo / psychology*
  • Vitiligo / therapy